Upper Merion man accused of killing baby and grandmother held for trial

The Upper Merion man accused of killing a baby and her grandmother in a botched kidnapping was held for trial today.

Raghunandan Yandamuri, 26, is charged with first-degree murder in the Oct. 22 deaths of 10-month-old Saanvi Venna and her grandmother, Satyavathi Venna, 61. Prosecutors claim Yandamuri, a neighbor and family friend, had gambling and credit card debt and planned to hold the girl for a $50,000 ransom.

After a four-day search, Yandamuri allegedly confessed to suffocating the girl and led authorities to her body in a basement gym facility. He claimed he accidentally stabbed the grandmother during a struggle for the girl.

If convicted, Yandamuri would face a mandatory life sentence without parole. Prosecutors said they have not decided whether to pursue the death penalty.

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