US teen’s conviction overturned in India

May 12, 2012, 12:07 AM

JODHPUR, India (AP) – An Indian appeals court on Friday overturned the conviction of a U.S. teenager who had been accused of killing his mother while on vacation in western India.

The Rajasthan High Court ordered Joncarlo Patton’s immediate release from a juvenile detention facility, according to Press Trust of India news agency. It was not immediately clear on what grounds the court overturned his conviction.

Patton was sentenced last year to three years in an Indian juvenile detention facility after he was found guilty of slitting his mother’s throat at a desert resort in the western state of Rajasthan in August 2010. Prosecutors accused Patton of killing Cynthia Iannarelli, of Cecil, Pennsylvania, because he was traumatized over his parents’ divorce. Police said Patton left the wrapped body on a sand dune near the Osian resort and was arrested at the airport as he tried to fly home.

Patton, who was 16 when he was arrested, has said he is innocent and has accused police of forcing him to confess.

The teenager’s father, Richard Patton, said the family was overjoyed at his acquittal.

“While this does not in any way lessen the tragic death of Dr. Iannarelli, both the Patton and Iannarelli families are relieved and joyful with Joncarlo’s acquittal, an outcome we have believed in and expected from the very beginning,” Richard Patton said in a written statement.

The teenager’s lawyer, Rahul Mehra, said Patton had been turned over to U.S. Embassy officials for repatriation.

U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said U.S. officials “are aware of the case and are providing appropriate consular assistance.” He declined to comment further citing privacy concerns.

Richard Patton, a professor of business administration at the University of Pittsburgh, said the staff at the juvenile facility had treated his son “with kindness, dignity and respect under very trying conditions.” He also expressed his gratitude to his son’s legal team for working “tirelessly on Joncarlo’s behalf as well as providing him friendship and support.”

“As Joncarlo returns to Pittsburgh, his focus will be on getting back to his studies and activities and continued accomplishments that will make his mother and all of us proud,” Richard Patton added. “At some future point, he may choose to discuss his experiences but for now he will focus on returning to a normal life.”

He declined to comment beyond the written statement.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

World News

Ukrainian servicemen carry the coffin with the remains of Army Col. Oleksander Makhachek during a f...
Associated Press

As Ukraine loses troops, how long can it keep up the fight?

ZHYTOMYR (AP) — As soon as they had finished burying a veteran colonel killed by Russian shelling, the cemetery workers readied the next hole. Inevitably, given how quickly death is felling Ukrainian troops on the front lines, the empty grave won’t stay that way for long. Col. Oleksandr Makhachek left behind a widow, Elena, and […]
1 month ago
(Instagram photo/@Clayton.Wolfe)...
Wills Rice

Arizona realtor announces new listing on ‘the top-floor’ of Mount Everest

Arizona realtor Clayton Wolfe scaled the treacherous 29,035-foot heights of Mount Everest in Nepal and announced a new listing at the summit.
1 month ago
(Photo by: Jonathan Wiggs/Boston Globe/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

‘Tiger King’ star ‘Doc’ Antle arrested for money laundering charges

“Tiger King” star “Doc” Antle was arrested by the FBI and expected to appear in court Monday to face federal money laundering charges.
1 month ago
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
Associated Press

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey in Israel for talks with political and business leaders

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is in Israel for five days of talks with political and business leaders of the Middle Eastern country.
1 month ago
A man rides a bicycle in front of a building ruined by shelling in Borodyanka, on the outskirts of ...
Associated Press

Russia takes steps to bolster army, tighten grip on Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin issued an order Wednesday to fast track Russian citizenship for residents of parts of southern Ukraine largely held by his forces, while lawmakers in Moscow passed a bill to strengthen the stretched Russian army. Putin’s decree applying to the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions could allow Russia to […]
1 month ago
FILE - McDonald's restaurant is seen in the center of Dmitrov, a Russian town 75 km., (47 miles) no...
Associated Press

De-Arching: McDonald’s to sell Russia business, exit country

McDonald’s is closing its doors in Russia, ending an era of optimism and increasing the country’s isolation over its war in Ukraine. The Chicago burger giant confirmed Monday that it is selling its 850 restaurants in Russia. McDonald’s said it will seek a buyer who will employ its 62,000 workers in Russia, and will continue […]
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
US teen’s conviction overturned in India