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Patel cousins convicted of murder conspiracy

Washington, Aug 14 (IANS) A court in the US has convicted two Indian-American cousins of conspiring to commit murder, a media report said.

Prattikumar Patel and his cousin Kalpesh Patel, residents of Tennessee, were held accountable by the Murfreesboro city court on Thursday for trying to arrange the murder of Prattikumar’s wife Krupaben in Rutherford County in 2013, the Daily News Journal reported.

Both men were arrested in September 2013 after they approached a construction worker named Chris Robinson from Rutherford County.

Robinson testified this week that the Patel cousins asked him to find someone to commit the murder for $50,000.

“He (Kalpesh Patel) was asking about having (Pratikkumar Patel’s) wife killed,” Robinson said.

Robinson, however, alerted the authorities who set up a taped call with Prattikumar and arrested the duo.

“I feel for the family. I feel for Mrs. Patel. But they tried to kill her. But for Chris Robinson, she would have been dead. Justice was done,” assistant district attorney general Sarah Davis was quoted as saying after the verdict.

According to Davis, Prattikkumar wanted to get out of an arranged marriage with his wife but had religious objections to a divorce.

Both men face prison sentences between 23 and 90 years.

A sentencing date has been set for October 16.

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