OLATHE, Kan. — The man accused in a possible hate crime shooting at an Olathe bar has notified U.S. District Court, District of Kansas, that he intends to change his plea, online court records say.
Adam Purinton’s change of plea hearing is scheduled for May 21, 2018 at 10:30 a.m.
Purinton previously pleaded guilty in federal court to hate crime and firearm charges.
The indictment for the hate crime accuses Purinton of shooting and killing Srinivas Kuchibhotla because of his race, color, religion or national origin. Likewise, the indictment accused Purinton of attempting to kill Alok Madasani because of his race, color, religion or national origin.
Ian Grillot was also a victim in the shooting. He said he saw two men he knew as regulars of the bar being harassed by Adam Purinton and escorted Purinton out.
“’You’re gonna stick up for them, and not me?’” Grillot recalled Purinton saying. “And that’s when I kind of knew what he was insinuating.”
That insinuation Grillot understood to be about the color of Srinivas and Alok’s skin.
Grillot said when Purinton came back to the bar about 30 minutes after he was kicked out, he was wearing “a scarf or something over his head trying to conceal his identity.”
The two Indian men were clearly Purinton’s targets as he opened fire. Grillot said.
A third indictment accuses Purinton of violating a federal firearms statute.
The FBI defines a hate crime as “a criminal offense against a person or property … motivated by an offenders bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender or gender identity.”
Hate itself is not a crime and the FBI is mindful in protecting people’s freedom of speech and other civil liberties, but if investigators find a murder or violence occurred because of the above mentioned qualifiers, they often ask for federal hate crime charges.
On March 6, 2018 Purinton pleaded guilty in Johnson County to three counts of premeditated first-degree murder. During the guilty plea hearing in Johnson County admitted to killing Kuchibhotla and wounding Madasani and Grillot two other men in a February 2017 shooting at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe.
Purtinton will be sentenced May 4, 2018 at 3 p.m. for the three premeditated first-degree murder charges he pleaded guilty to.
The state of Kansas does not differentiate for attempted murder in official charges, which is why Purinton faces three counts of premeditated first-degree murder, even though only one victim died.