A 63-year-old Indian-American has been sentenced to life in the US for murdering his ex-wife. Baldeo Taneja, a biostatistician from Nashville, was sentenced on October 15 in Montgomery county circuit court.
Taneja and his current wife, 63-year-old Raminder Kaur, were convicted of first-degree murder in the killing of Preeta Gabba, 49, near her Germantown home on October 12, 2013. Prosecutors say Kaur and Taneja drove from Nashville to the Germantown area, killed Gabba and drove back to Nashville, where they were arrested the next day.
A sentencing date for Kaur has not been scheduled.
"Justice was served. They got what they deserved," Lim Gabba, 23, a son of the victim, who was living with her mother when she was shot, was quoted as saying in local media.
Taneja stood expressionless as circuit court judge Michael D Mason called his actions among the worst he has seen in 40 years of his career, The Washington Post reported. "The evidence in this case demonstrates that this is certainly one of the coldest and most calculated murders that this court has ever seen," Mason said.
On September 28, 2013, near his home in Nashville, Taneja and his wife Kaur purchased two pistols. Two weeks later, according to testimony, they drove to Montgomery county, spent the night at an inn and then drove to the Germantown neighbourhood of Taneja's ex-wife. When Gabba left her apartment building, Kaur walked up, pulled out a snub-nosed revolver and shot her three times, prosecutors said. The couple drove off and made their way to a nearby Amway conference, where they checked in to try to establish an alibi - staying just long enough to smile and greet old friends - and then headed home.
The motive, prosecutors said, was Taneja's anger over a contentious divorce and alimony payments to Gabba.
Taneja, who holds a PhD, was a college professor who went on to a career in the pharmaceutical industry. According to the Post, court papers show Taneja, a US citizen, moved from India to the US in 2007 and worked in Boston. Gabba came to the US in 2008.