A pair of Indian American lovers from New Jersey were charged Feb. 6 with trying to hire a hitman to murder the man’s ex-wife.
Narsan Lingala, 55, and his former girlfriend, Sandya Reddy, 52, were both charged with one count of murder-for-hire. The two appeared before Judge Michael A. Hammer in Newark federal court and were held without bail, NJ.com reported citing a news release from US Attorney Craig Carpenito, according to IANS.
Their court appearance came five months after Lingala and Reddy, both residents of Nobleville, Indiana, appeared before a Middlesex County Superior Court judge on attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder charges (see earlier India-West story here: https://bit.ly/2Gv7Yy8). The case is now being handled at the federal level.
According to the federal complaint, Lingala was in a holding cell at the Middlesex County Courthouse in May 2018 awaiting a court hearing when he asked another inmate if he knew anyone who could kill his estranged wife. The inmate indicated he knew a person, according to Carpenito's release.
The following month, on the directions of law enforcement authorities, the inmate introduced Lingala to an undercover officer posing as a hitman. Over several weeks Lingala and the alleged hitman spoke on the telephone and planned to meet in person when Lingala travelled from Indiana to New Jersey, the release stated.
Lingala and Reddy met the alleged hitman in August last year and had a conversation inside his vehicle that was video recorded, the report said.
"I want that woman (his former wife) to be out of my life ... totally. Never again. She never comes back," Lingala said, according to the news release.
Lingala and his former wife, a North Brunswick resident, married in December 1995 and had two children before he filed for divorce in May 2011.
The Indianapolis Star said Lingala had spent years trying to fight his divorce proceedings, including the amount of child support for his two children, and alimony. The accused man allegedly has a history of domestic violence incidents, and was served with a restraining order during the course of his marriage.
Lingala allegedly showed the undercover hitman photos of the exterior and interior of his former wife's home, while Reddy allegedly provided him information about the intended victim.
The three also discussed the price that the undercover hitman would be paid. The "hitman" said the job would cost between $5,000 and $10,000.
Lingala and Reddy were arrested in Woodbridge after the meeting, the news release stated.
If convicted of the murder-for-hire charge Lingala and Reddy could face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to the news release.
Lingala had also been arrested in the past for violating a restraining order.
The earlier story by India-West staff reporter Sunita Sohrabji adds: The ex-wife has not been named in current proceedings. A former lawsuit filed in 2017 found by India-West said that Lingala’s attorneys noted that he had been brought to court during divorce proceedings stemming from an outstanding warrant for his arrest in Massachusetts. Lingala had – during divorce proceedings – agreed to pay weekly child support of $358, on calculations of his annual income at $162,000.
But during the 2017 trial, Lingala said his income had been computed incorrectly, and the valuation of his business, LMN Solutions, of which he is the sole owner, was calculated incorrectly and much higher than its actual worth. He argued that he should pay lower amounts of child support and alimony.
Lingala further alleged that he entered into the 2012 divorce agreement under duress because he was handcuffed and faced a hostile judge. He did not win in the proceedings.
(With IANS reports)