A preliminary trial began April 12 in Wichita, Kansas, for a young Indian American man accused of fatally stabbing his psychiatrist.
Umar Dutt, 21, has been charged with first-degree murder for the Sept. 13, 2017 death of noted psychiatrist Achutha Reddy, who was also Indian American. Dutt was a patient of Reddy’s at the time of the stabbing.
Lt. Todd Ojile, section commander of the homicide division at the Wichita Police Department, held a televised media briefing with reporters a day after the fatal attack. Ojile said that Dutt had entered Reddy’s office, and proceeded to stab the victim.
An office manager – who has not been identified – heard the commotion and entered Reddy’s office. “She tried to intervene, which allowed the victim to flee,” said Ojile at the briefing.
Dutt then caught up with Reddy in the alley, and reportedly began a second assault. He then fled the scene and went to the Wichita Country Club, where he sat in his car outside the gate.
A security guard noticed him sitting there covered in blood and called 911, according to Ojile.
Ojile later told India-West that investigators were attempting to establish a motive for Dutt’s attack, including how long Reddy had been treating him. (See related India-West story here.)
At the April 12 hearing, Wichita, Kansas police officer Andrew Jansson, who was one of the first responders at the country club, testified that he had taken Dutt into custody. He said Dutt asked him: "Do you think they will execute me?”
Jansson testified that Dutt was lethargic, and slurring his words. The attacker told the officer that he had been attacked, explaining the copious amounts of blood on his clothing. He then told Jansson he had taken a knife from his attackers; police then hand-cuffed him and took him into custody.
A member of Reddy’s staff testified that Dutt had shown up at Reddy’s office earlier that day, though he did not have an appointment.
Though Dutt did not have an appointment, the staff member said Reddy nevertheless prepped to give his patient an injection. She said she later heard banging from Reddy's office and heard him call her name twice.
The staff member said when she went in, she saw Dutt holding a knife and Reddy covered in blood. She said she couldn't tell if he was dead or alive. Prosecutors presented a photo of the staff member that showed blood stains on her sari.
Reddy was found with multiple stab wounds on his upper body.
The staff member also testified that Reddy had earlier expressed his concerns about Dutt, who allegedly told him: "Why does God always tell me to kill you?"
Dutt was allegedly using methamphetamines, according to Reddy’s office staff.
The preliminary hearing will continue July 5 after defense attorneys gather more evidence. A judge will then decide if there is enough evidence to take the case to trial.
Reddy was a specialist in absolute yoga, a type of yoga that connects mind, body and breath and promotes a healthy lifestyle.