A Sacramento County Superior Court judge has found a California man guilty of first degree murder in the 2015 slaying of an Indian-American woman. He faces a maximum of life in prison without parole.
Judge Michael Bowman found Timothy Varmall, 50, guilty of the first-degree murder of Indian-American Smurti Patel, a 44-year old at the time she was brutally stabbed to death. Judge Bowman also found true the allegations that Varmall was armed and committed the murder by lying in wait for his victim. Police investigations indicate the motive may have been Patel telling Varmall she did not want a serious relationship with him.
The prosecutor in the case was Deputy District Attorney Omar Singh of the Homicide Unit.
According to prosecutors, between September 2014 and February 2015, Varmall followed Patel and planned “coincidental” run-ins with her to make her think favorably of him. His purpose during those months was to find the best opportunity to kill Patel, a May 12, press release from the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office said.
On February 9, 2015, Varmall stalked Patel and followed her onto a light rail train. As they exited, Patel spotted Varmall and agreed to walk with him. As they walked across a dark lot, Varmall stabbed Patel seven times.
Varmall fled the area while Patel staggered across the street to a restaurant, where medics were called to the scene. Tragically, she died from her wounds three days later according to a Feb. 12, 2015 press release from the Sacramento City Police Department.
Varmall confided in one of Patel’s friends that he murdered her because he was romantically interested in her and she had rejected him, police found.
The Court also found true that Varmall suffered two prior strike convictions under the Three Strikes Law. In 1994, he was convicted of sexual penetration with a foreign object and forced oral copulation.
Varmall faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Sentencing is set for June 9, before Judge Bowman, the press release said.
Varmall was arrested Feb. 12, 2015, the day Patel succumbed to her injuries.
On the day of the stabbing, Police responded to a call at approximately 7:45 p.m., in the area of Del Paso Boulevard and Arden Way about a woman sustaining significant trauma from a violent assault. Early on in the case police determined that Patel was known to her assailant and this did not appear to be a random act, according to the Feb. 17, 2015 press release from the Sacramento City Police Department, .