Jury Verdict: GUILTY
“He did not love his wife. She stood between him and his freedom. The defendant wants you to believe he loved his family but actions speak louder than words, and his actions spoke of anything but love”. These were the words of the Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Tricia Dare when she addressed the jury on Wednesday, June 11th, in the Novi murder trial held in the Oakland County Circuit Court.
The defendant in question is none other than Lakshminivasa Nerusu, the 49-year-old former computer scientist facing three counts of first degree murder. After killing his wife and two children, Nerusu fled to his native India. But after 4 ½ years, he was arrested and extradited back to Michigan to stand trial.
Nerusu never denied murdering his family; he simply claimed to have been insane when it happened. According to his defense attorney, Nerusu “blacked out” during the tragic events of October 13th, 2008, and has no memory of anything that happened during the murders.
Nerus, who testified on his own behalf during the trial, told jurors that he sometimes slapped his wife when they argued, and worried that she would call the police on him. According to his testimony, she didn’t like it when he drank or smoked and was annoyed by his regular periods of unemployment. “I have problems for a long time with my wife,” he explained. “She was always blaming me. It was irritating me.”
The prosecution showed jurors the gory pictures of the bodies, found two weeks after the murders, still lying in the pools of blood where they had been left. Nerusu stabbed his wife over fifty times with a kitchen knife, then waited with her corpse for his 12-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter to come home from school. He killed them both, first his daughter and then 40 minutes later, his son, slashing their throats as they came into the house,
“You don’t do what he did to his family without having having mental illness,” said Lawrence Kaluzny, Nerusu’s defense attorney. “His wife belittled him, she nagged him, we can only guess how it affected the depression he was in. It sent him over the edge. Certainly, I’m not saying his wife and kids deserved to die, but it did push him over the edge.”
The jurors, however, didn’t sympathize with Nerusu’s plight. After less than 2 hours of deliberation they delivered a verdict of guilty on all three of counts of first-degree premeditated murder.
Chief Circuit Judge Nanci Grant scheduled Nerusu’s sentencing for July 3rd. He will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.