Did You Know?

Two men and zero women have been

executed in the United States in 2019.

10 Killed in Brazil
Ten teenage football (soccer) players were killed after a fire broke out in their dormitory at a youth team training centre in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Three other teenagers were taken to the hospital for injuries. According to one of players, the cause of the fire was the air conditioner, however an investigation is ongoing. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for healing for the injured.
6 Killed in Chile
Extreme rainfall in Chile has led to floods and the reactivation of a waterfall in the Atacama Desert. The waterfall had been dry for a decade. The extreme rainfall has killed at least 6 individuals and has also forced residents to flee their homes, due to the overflowing rivers. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for all those affected.
4 Killed in Haiti
At least four individuals have been killed, and dozens of others injured during four days of, often, violent protests in the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince. The protests are against current President Jovenel Moise, with calls for him to step down, after accusations of corruption. Other government officials have also been accused of corruption. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Pleas pray for healing for the injured. Please pray for peace.
Yellow Vest Protests Continue in France
As the protests enter their 13th week, a protester has had his finger blown off after attempting to pick up a rubber pellet grenade. The protests began over fuel taxes in November 2018, and have since evolved as a general protest against President Emmanuel Macron and the political class, who the protesters see as out of touch. Please pray for healing for the injured. Please pray for a resolution.
US Government Funding Talks Stall
If no legislation is passed by Friday, the US government could face another shutdown, three weeks after the last shutdown ended. Please pray for wisdom among the elected officials. Please pray for a resolution.
100 Car Collision in China
At least two individuals have been killed, and 50 others injured, when over 100 vehicles were involved in a pile-up in southwest Guizhou province. While the cause of the accident is under investigation, officials note that the pile-up occurred on slippery roads, with the temperature dropping after a rain. Pleas pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for the healing of the injured.
97 Children Killed in Democratic Republic of Congo
Last year, an Ebola outbreak began in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It has since resulted in the death of the 97 children, with the number of new cases doubling in January. Over half of those deaths were children under the age of 65. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for healing for the infected. Please pray that a cure may be found.

Updated: Monday, February 19, 2018  11:25 am EST

 

Raghunandan Yandamuri was scheduled to be executed at 7 pm EST, on Friday, February 23, 2107, at the State Correctional Institute Rockview in Rockview, Pennsylvania.  His execution has been stayed.  Thirty-two-year-old Raghunandan is convicted of the murder of 61-year-old Satyavathi Venna and 10-month-old Saanvi Venna in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania on October 22, 2012.  Raghunandan has spent the last three years on Pennsylvania’s death row.

 

Raghunandan was born in India and never became a citizen of the United States.  Raghunandan obtained an advanced degree in electrical and computer science engineering.  Raghunandan did not have a history of criminal convictions or mental or emotional problems, according to information provided at his trial. 

 

Raghunandan Yandamuri and his wife attended a party at Marquis Apartments in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania on October 20, 2012.  During the party, they met Chenchu and Venkata Venna and their 10-month-old daughter Saanvi.  During the party, Chenchu and Venkata talked about they both work and their daughter would be staying with grandparents during the day.  Yandamuri held the baby during the party and the gold jewelry the baby was wearing was also discussed. 

 

Two days later, Yandamuri returned the apartment where the party was held.  Satyavathi Venna, the grandmother who was watching Saanvi, answered the door.  Yandamuri brandished a four-inch knife and attempted the kidnap the child.  Satyavathi tried to fight Yandamuri.  She was stabbed at least three times in the throat, hard enough for the knife to strike the bone.  In an attempt to silence the baby, Yandamuri stuffed a handkerchief in her mouth.  When that did not work, he tied a cloth around Saanvi’s head to keep the handkerchief from falling out.  

 

Yandamuri took a suitcase from the closet, collected gold jewelry, including some that Satyavathi was wearing, and placed it inside the suitcase.  He also placed the baby inside the suitcase.  Ultimately, he left Saanvi inside the men’s sauna at the Marquis Apartments.  

 

Yandamuri returned to his apartment, where he showered and changed.  Afterwards, he threw some of the stolen jewelry into the river and hid the rest behind a vending machine in his office building.

 

Satyavathi’s body was discovered when the parents returned home to check on their child after not being able to get in contact.  It was then that they also discovered their child was missing.  Police discovered ransom notes in the apartment, demanding $50,000 in cash in exchange for the return of the child.  Saanvi’s mother, under police guidance, followed the instructions provided and attempted to pay the ransom, however the kidnapper never arrived at the designated meeting point.

 

With the help of the parents, they were able to create a list of those who may have written the note, based on the informal and personal way the parents were addressed in the note.  Yandamuri voluntarily met with police on October 25, 2012, while the baby remained missing.   

 

During the police interview, which lasted several hours, Yandamuri gave several, non-incriminating statements to the police and consented to a variety of searches.  Police discovered that there were inconsistencies between Yandamuri’s account of his actions during the day of the kidnapping and his wife’s account.  Eventually, over 12 hours after the interview first began, Yandamuri confessed to murdering Satyavathi and to kidnapping and murdering and Saanvi.  He told police where the baby was located, along with the knife he used during the crime, the stolen jewelry, the suitcase, and the clothing he wore.

 

A few days later, Yandamuri tried to say that he was forced to participate in the kidnapping by two other men.  He alleged that he only confessed to the crime in order to keep his wife safe.  During their investigation, it was discovered that Yandamuri had lost a large amount of money gambling and had borrowed money from friends in order to obtain visas for his visiting in-laws.

 

Yandamuri was convicted of first-degree murder, kidnappign, burglary, robbery, and abuse of corpse.  Yandamuri represented himself during his trial.

 

Raghunandan Yandamuri’s notice of execution was issued by Department of Corrections Secretary John Wentzel, as Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has refused to sign any execution warrants.  If the Governor does not sign an execution notice within a specified time frame, state law requires the corrections secretary to issue the execution notice.

 

On Friday, February 13, 2015, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced a moratorium on executions in the state, until he receives and reviews a report on capital punishment in the state, a report which was ordered in 2011.  In his announcement, he called the death penalty in Pennsylvania a "flawed system," "ineffective," "unjust," and "expensive."  Read more about the announcement here.  

 

 

Please pray for peace for the family of Satyavathi and Saanvi.  Please pray for strength for the family of Raghunandan.  Please pray that Raghunandan will come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.

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