hangud

Shankar Hangud has been charged with four counts of murder for allegedly killing his family over several days in October. The Indian American presented himself to police and confessed to the crime, but has entered a plea of not guilty. He is being held in Placer County, California, jail without bail. (Roseville, California Police Department)

An Indian American man has been charged with four counts of murder for allegedly killing his family members over several days in October.

Court documents filed by the Placer County, California District Attorney’s office and forwarded to India-West charge Shankar Nagappa Hangud with killing his wife Jyothi Sharma, 46, on Oct. 7 at their home in Roseville, California. Sometime that day, Hangud also allegedly killed his daughter Gauri, 16 at the time of her death.

The following day, according to court documents, Hangud killed one of his sons, Nischal. He killed his older son Varun on Oct. 13, according to the complaint.

In its complaint, the Placer County District Attorney’s office identified the victims only by their initials and did not state the method by which Hangud allegedly killed his family.

According to police reports, Hangud, an unemployed data information specialist who owed more than $178,000 in back taxes, drove for an unknown number of hours with Varun’s body in his car before going to the police station Oct. 14 in Mount Shasta, Calif., where he confessed to killing Varun, and his wife and children in the apartment complex at which they lived in Roseville.

Hangud has no prior criminal history. A motive for the slaying has not yet been established.

Though he confessed his crime to Mt. Shasta police, Hangud entered a not guilty plea at his arraignment Oct. 28. He is due back in court Dec. 20, and is being held without bail in Placer County Jail.

Hangud faces the death penalty for the four murders, though California currently has a moratorium on capital punishment. The Placer County District Attorney’s office has not stated whether it intends to pursue the death penalty.

During his arraignment, Hangud declined the services of a public defender but then later agreed to be represented by one. (See earlier story in India-West here: https://bit.ly/37TjBKm)

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