Man found not guilty in murder of Marine

February 1, 2008 5:01:14 PM PST
In court Friday, he said he shot and killed his daughter's boyfriend out of self defense, and Friday afternoon, the jury agreed. A Harris County man was found not guilty of murder. More than two and half years after a single bullet changed everything, Hardeep Grewal emerged from the criminal courthouse a vindicated man. He admits he killed his daughter Nina's boyfriend, but says the shooting of Nitan Sarangapani was self-defense.

"I think this case has been one of self-defense from the beginning," said defense attorney Nicole DeBorde. "The jury finally had the opportunity to hear the facts. It really is as simple as that."

Moments after the verdict was read, Grewal began to cry. He began sobbing as he hugged his family and friends. Meanwhile, the parents and family of Sarangapani remain faithful.

"We know that God is there," said Nitan's mother, Alpana Sarangapani. "God is still there. God's court is still there."

The parents of the 24-year-old point out that the death of their only son was the greatest loss.

"Basically, we've lost our son," said Nitan's father, Ram Sarangapani. "Nothing could be worse than that."

Grewal said what he did is make the best decision he could under the most terrible of circumstances. The shooting happened in front of his home after Sarangapani showed up outside and began screaming insults. Grewal says he didn't know who was outside and only pulled the trigger on his assault rifle because he thought the 24-year-old Marine was reaching for something.

Grewal says he's sorry for what happened and does not consider the verdict victory.

"I'm really sorry it happened. I thank God," he said after the verdict was read. "That's all I can say."

Both families immigrated years ago from India to the United States.

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