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Shankar Nagappa Hangud of California Sentenced to Death Without Parole in 2019 Killings of Wife and 3 Children

Shankar Nagappa Hangud of California Sentenced to Death Without Parole in 2019 Killings of Wife and 3 Children

  • The Indian American initially pleaded not guilty to the murders, but last month entered guilty pleas to three counts of first-degree murder and one count of deliberately aiding his wife in committing suicide.

Shankar Nagappa Hangud of Roseville, California, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, for the 2019 deaths of his wife, Jyothi Shankar, 46; and their three children — Varun Shankar, 20; Gauri Hangud, 16 and Nischal Hangud, 13.

The Indian American initially pleaded not guilty to the murders in 2019 but last month changed his plea. He entered guilty pleas to three counts of first-degree murder for his three children and one count of deliberately aiding his wife in committing suicide, The Sacramento Bee reported.


Hangud was arrested shortly after the killings. On Oct. 14, 2019, Hangud, then 55, had turned himself into authorities, after driving about 260 miles to Mount Shasta police station with the body of his adult son in his car. He confessed to authorities to killing three other people in his apartment.

According to news reports, he told prosecutors that he was distraught after losing his IT job and dealing with a marriage that was falling apart. Hangud’s LinkedIn profile shows he is a data specialist and has worked for several companies in Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area.

At the time of the arrest, Roseville Police Capt. Josh Simon said he believed Hangud killed his family during a week-long crime spree, murdering his wife and daughters over the course of three days. Hangud murdered his wife, his daughter and his youngest son on Oct. 7 in their Roseville apartment. He later killed his older son, somewhere between Roseville and Mount Shasta, where he surrendered to police on Oct.13 with his son’s body.

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“The deaths of these young victims touched this community very deeply, and although there are no family members left to see justice served, many in our community remember the victims from school or from their neighborhood,” Placer County Chief Assistant District Attorney David Tellman said in a statement. “It’s hard to reconcile with the facts that this tragedy could happen because someone couldn’t get employed. But it’s an old-world, patriarchal thought pattern where if he can’t be a provider, he doesn’t want his family to have nothing. So he kills his family.”

According to a KTLA 5 report, Hangud had no criminal record before his arrest. His tax records showed that Hangud faced an IRS tax lien of $178,000. Hangud’s only prior interaction with law enforcement in Placer County was for speeding in 2016, the Sacramento Bee reported.

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