NRI in US sentenced to life in prison
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NRI in US sentenced to life in prison

Biswanath Halder (65), who had killed a US varsity student, was spared death penalty by the jury.

india Updated: Feb 18, 2006 11:32 IST

An Indian-American has been sentenced to life in prison without parole after he was convicted of killing a student in a shooting spree at a US university three years ago.

Sixty-five year-old Biswanath Halder, born in Kolkata, was spared the death penalty by a jury that returned the recommendation for life imprisonment without parole.

The formal sentencing was done by the presiding Judge Peggy Foley Jones on Friday.

Halder went berserk three years ago at the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland in Ohio and left Norman Wallace, a 30-year-old graduate student, dead in a shooting rampage.

In spite of the horrific tragedy, Halder only hesitatingly apologised to the family of the murder victim after the Judge told him that Wallace's relatives were present in the courtroom and that he owed them an apology.

"It's a terrible tragedy and I'm exceptionally sorry," Halder reportedly told Wallace's relatives.

Soon after one of Wallace's brothers told Halder that "I do forgive you. I don't want to have that on me. I don't want to be like you."

A defiant Halder who appeared to have shown no remorse during the trial had a grouse against the university he once attended, accusing a computer lab employee of hacking into a website that he had set up to help fellow Indians to set up businesses.

During the seven-hour siege in May 2003, Halder shot and killed Wallace and injured two others. Last December he was convicted on 196 counts and faced the death penalty.

First Published: Feb 18, 2006 11:29 IST