Lalitha Patel, an Indian American, was murdered after a sexual assault by a US army veteran in a motel in California. According to media reports, the veteran was charged with rape and murder and might have to face death penalty.
Lalitha Patel is the owner of her family motel, The Tracy Hacienda Inn- in Tracy city, California. She was found murdered on Saturday in motel.
Stephen Carreiro had been summoned by the San Joquin Superior Court after being charged with rape and murder. The 25 year old army veteran who was recently discharged was arrested while he was naked and fighting with witnesses and police who arrived at the scene of cirme.
Prosecutors had also filed 5 other special circumstances counts apart from the allready alleged charges of elder abuse, resisting arrest, and murder and the additional counts include sodomy, mayhem, rape, rape witha foreign object and murder during commission of a burglary.
If Carrerio is convicted on the additional charges too he would have to face sentence for life in prison without a parole or even execution. There is still some thought given into the matter of seeking execution.
There was an assault on the mother of the 62 year old Lalitha, who was 82 years. She however did not give any details. She had injuries and is expected to recover soon.
The police had parried the question when they were asked to describe the attack. They didnt confirm the use of a weapon in the incident. Tests that would confirm if Carrerio was unde the influence of drugs would take a few weeks according to Capt John Espinoza.
Details regarding the veterans service or his personal history were not available. His next hearing would be on 24th July.