Court refuses to free on bail American teenager charged with murdering his mother in India

By Prakash Bhandari, AP
Monday, October 4, 2010

Indian court rejects American teen’s bail plea

JAIPUR, India — A juvenile court on Monday refused to grant bail to an American teenager charged with murder after his mother was found dead at a resort in western India, a prosecutor said.

The court sided with police who argued 16-year-old Joncarlo Patton should not be set free given the seriousness of the alleged offense, said prosecutor N.K. Sankhala.

Patton was arrested at an airport on Aug. 13, a day after his mother, Cindy Iannarelli from Cecil, Pennsylvania, was found with her throat slit at a resort in the town of Osian in Rajasthan state.

Police have formally charged the teenager with murder and destruction of evidence. Patton denies the charges.

Patton’s father, University of Pittsburgh business associate professor G. Richard Patton, who arrived in India over the weekend, attended Monday’s court proceedings in Jodhpur, a tourist hub in Rajasthan. The judge granted Patton’s request to meet his son in the juvenile home.

Sankhala said pretrial proceedings against Patton would be held Oct.11.

Patton is accused of attacking his mother with a knife on Aug. 12 and then dumping her body on a sand dune near the resort, said Manish Vyas, Patton’s attorney.

Police say Patton washed his bloodstained clothes and changed into fresh clothes before leaving for the airport in a taxi. Patton’s clothes were later discovered by police, but no knife has been found.

Police superintendent Girdhari Lal Sharma, who questioned Patton soon after his mother’s death, said the teenager attacked his mother because he was traumatized by his parents’ divorce and wanted them to reconcile.

It was unclear how long the case would take to move through India’s notoriously slow judicial system.

(This version CORRECTS name of boy’s father to G. Richard Patton.)

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