Not guilty plea in alleged hate crime killing at Kansas bar

In this Monday, May 15, 2017 file photo, Adam Purinton, charged in the Olathe Austins bar shootings, appears in Division 8 at the Johnson County District Courthouse in Olathe, Kan. 

David Eulitt / AP

OLATHE, Kan. — The man accused in an alleged hate crime at a suburban Kansas City bar that killed one Indian national and left two men wounded has pleaded not guilty.

Adam Purinton is charged with first-degree murder in the February shooting in Olathe that killed 32-year-old Srinivas Kuchibhotla. He also faces two counts of attempted first-degree murder for wounding two other men.

Witnesses said Purinton yelled at the two Indian men to "get out of my country" before pulling the trigger in the attack. A bartender at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe said Purinton used racial slurs before firing.  

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Srinivas Kuchibhotla was shot and killed at a bar in Olathe, Kansas.

KCTV

The Kansas City Star reports Purinton on Thursday waived his preliminary hearing and the not guilty plea was entered on his behalf.

His next hearing is scheduled for May 8. Purinton also faces hate crime charges in federal court.

Federal prosecutors allege that Purinton targeted Kuchibhotla and another Indian man because of their race or ethnicity. The third man was shot when tried to help the two victims.

After the shooting, Purinton, who is white, drove 70 miles east to an Applebee's restaurant in Clinton, Missouri, where he told a bartender what he'd done.

"He asked if he could stay with me and my husband, and he wouldn't tell me what he did. I kept asking him, and he said that he would tell me if I agreed to let him stay with me," the bartender said. "Well, I finally got him to tell me and he said, like, that he shot and killed two Iranian people in Olathe."