Dad KAUSHIK PATEL has pleaded guilty to the murders of his two sons, ages 7 and 4. Daddy doused them with gasoline and set them on fire. By pleading guilty, Daddy avoids the death penalty in the state of Illinois.
Father accepts deal to plead guilty in sons' burning deaths
April 16, 2010 10:04 AM UPDATED STORY
Kaushik Patel, the Glendale Heights father charged with killing his two sons by setting them on fire, has agreed to plead guilty in return for a life sentence, DuPage County prosecutors and defense attorneys told a judge this morning.
"We have an agreement not to seek death," public defender Jeff York told Judge Kathryn Creswell.
Assistant State's Attorney Alex McGimpsey said all issues leading to a plea had been resolved.
Patel, 35, is charged with dousing his sons, Vishv, 7, and Om, 4, with gasoline in the bedroom of their home on Nov. 18, 2007, leaving them with severe burns that eventually led to their deaths months later.
Creswell set May 18 for sentencing.
In a jailhouse interview with the Tribune, Patel claimed he was attempting suicide when the boys ran into the room and accidentally were splashed with gasoline and caught on fire.
Patel earlier had signaled willingness to accept a life sentence in exchange for avoiding the death penalty, but DuPage County State's Attorney Joseph Birkett rejected it.
Patel public defenders told Judge Kathryn Creswell in August 2008 that Patel was willing to accept a life sentence in exchange for avoiding the death penalty.
DuPage County States' Attorney Joseph Birkett considered the offer for several months before rejecting it.
At a later pre-trial hearing Nisha Patel, the boys' mother, told Creswell that Vishv told her that on Nov. 18, 2007, his father took the boys out to buy toy cars, stopped to buy gasoline and returned with the boys to the family Glendale Heights home. She said Vishv said their father "told them to get into the bathroom and get into a green tub."
After the boys were burned, the defendant placed the boys in his car and drove them to a home of another family member in Hanover Park, where that family member called police.
Patel also was burned seriously in the incident but has since recovered.