Kaushik Patel gets life in prison for burning deaths of 2 young sons
By Deborah O'Malley - Examiner.com
May 18, 2010
Kaushik Patel will spend the rest of his life in
prison for the heinous burning deaths of his 7 and 4-year-old sons.
Patel pleaded guilty today several weeks after it
was learned prosecutors and Patel had reached a tentative plea
agreement that would spare him the death penalty.
On November 18, 2007, Patel poured gasoline on his
sons Om and Vishv then set them on fire in the family's Glendale
The boys died from their injuries after months of
agonizing treatements. Patel survived the burns he sustained in the
"In this case, I felt that the death penalty would
have been an appropriate and just punishment." said DuPage County
State's Attorney Joe Birkett. However, after careful consideration of
all the relevant factors, including the wishes of the victims’ mother,
I agree to accept the defendant’s offer to plead guilty for a natural
life sentence. The victims’ mother will never get over her loss, but
at least she has the closure she hoped for and can move on with her
Patel never gave a reason for what he did to the
boys. Early on in the case, he contended he was trying to kill himself
but the boys walked into the bathroom and accidentally got splashed
Prosecutors said Patel had purchased new toys for
the children and used the toys to lure the boys into the bathroom of
their home where he then put them in the tub and set them on fire.
Father admits setting young sons on fire
April 17, 2010
An Indian-born man accused of killing his two sons
by setting them on fire has agreed to plead guilty and will not face
the death penalty.
DuPage County prosecutors and defence lawyers in
Illinois on Friday told a judge about the agreement.
Thirty-five-year-old Kaushik Patel of Glendale
Heights is accused of first-degree murder in the deaths of
seven-year-old Vishv and four-year-old Om.
The judge set a sentencing hearing for May 18.
The boys' mother, Nishaben Patel, testified in
February that before he died her son Vishv told her how his father had
doused the boys with petrol.
Kaushik Patel has recovered from burns he received
in the incident.
Kaushik Patel moved to the Chicago area from the
Indian state of Gujarat in 1992, and later brought his wife to the US.
Father accepts deal to plead guilty in sons'
April 16, 2010
Kaushik Patel, the Glendale Heights father charged
with killing his two sons by setting them on fire, has agreed to plead
guilty in return for a life sentence, DuPage County prosecutors and
defense attorneys told a judge this morning.
"We have an agreement not to seek death," public
defender Jeff York told Judge Kathryn Creswell.
Assistant State's Attorney Alex McGimpsey said all
issues leading to a plea had been resolved.
Patel, 35, is charged with dousing his sons, Vishv,
7, and Om, 4, with gasoline in the bedroom of their home on Nov. 18,
2007, leaving them with severe burns that eventually led to their
deaths months later.
Creswell set May 18 for sentencing.
In a jailhouse interview with the Tribune, Patel
claimed he was attempting suicide when the boys ran into the room and
accidentally were splashed with gasoline and caught on fire.
Patel earlier had signaled willingness to accept a
life sentence in exchange for avoiding the death penalty, but DuPage
County State's Attorney Joseph Birkett rejected it.
Patel public defenders told Judge Kathryn Creswell
in August 2008 that Patel was willing to accept a life sentence in
exchange for avoiding the death penalty.
DuPage County States' Attorney Joseph Birkett
considered the offer for several months before rejecting it.
At a later pre-trial hearing Nisha Patel, the boys'
mother, told Creswell that Vishv told her that on Nov. 18, 2007, his
father took the boys out to buy toy cars, stopped to buy gasoline and
returned with the boys to the family Glendale Heights home. She said
Vishv said their father "told them to get into the bathroom and get
into a green tub."
After the boys were burned, the defendant placed
the boys in his car and drove them to a home of another family member
in Hanover Park, where that family member called police.
Patel also was burned seriously in the incident but
has since recovered.
Before dying, boy told how dad doused him with gas
Art Barnum - ChicagoBreakingNews.com
February 27, 2009
As he lay in a hospital burn unit five weeks before
he died, a 7-year-old boy provided graphic details to his mother about
how his father doused him and his brother with gasoline in a bath tub
and then set them on fire, prosecutors said in court Friday.
Over two consecutive days in January 2008, Vishv
Patel gave his mother, Nishaben, an account of what happened to him
and his 4-year-old brother Om two months earlier in their Glendale
Heights home, Assistant DuPage County State's Attorney Alex McGimpsey
Kaushik Patel, 35, has been charged with the murder
of his sons and faces the death penalty if convicted at his trial,
which is scheduled to start in April. Illinois law requires a judge to
approve the testimony of a deceased person before the trial. Judge
Kathryn Creswell said she will rule March 4 on the state's request to
use details from the conversation between Vishv and his mother.
According to McGimpsey, Vishv told his mother that
on the afternoon of Nov. 18, 2007, his father took the boys to buy toy
cars, stopped to buy some gasoline, and then went to the family home.
Vishv said that their father "told them in get into the bathroom and
to get into a green tub."
"Vishv said Daddy poured something over them and he
knew it was gas, not water. It burned his eyes as it was poured over
him," McGimpsey said. "Vishv then said Dad stood up with a lighter, he
heard some noise and him and his brother were hurt."
Two Glendale Heights police who were at the Loyola
Medical Center on Jan. 13, 2008, said that Vishv's comments were slow
and deliberate and that he had to catch his breath after every few
words. The police had brought a video camera to record the young boy's
comments after being told by the mother the statements he had made the
previous day. But hospital personnel wouldn't allow the equipment in
the burn unit.
Om died of his injuries on Jan. 17, 2008, and Vishv
on Feb. 19. 2008.
Patel originally contended that he was trying to
commit suicide when the boys ran into the bathroom and were
accidentally set on fire. But later in a jailhouse interview with the
Tribune, he claimed he didn't remember lighting the fire.
DuPage County States Attorney Joseph Birkett has
declined an offer from Patel to plead guilty to the crimes in exchange
for a life sentence.
IL Patel father says he tried to kill himself,
not 2 sons
Glendale Heights father says he tried to kill
himself, not 2 sons
Dad says he thinks about boys every day
By Tina Shah and Gerry Smith - Chicago Tribune
March 8, 2008
In his first interview since being accused of
dousing his two sons with gasoline and lighting them on fire, a
Glendale Heights father said Friday morning that he only intended to
kill himself, not his sons, and he doesn't recall how his children
were injured last fall.
Kaushik Patel told the Tribune during an hourlong
interview that he doesn't understand why he is being incarcerated.
"This is not murder. I tried to kill myself," Patel
said, speaking through a glass window at the DuPage County Jail,
mostly in his native language of Gujarati.
Patel, 34, is accused of dousing his sons with
gasoline in the shower of the family's home in the 1800 block of
Harvest Lane on Nov. 18 and then setting them on fire. The boys'
mother, Nisha Patel, was not home at the time. Despite repeated calls,
she could not be reached for comment.
Kaushik Patel, who is charged with murder in the
death of his son, Om Patel, 4, is being held on $10 million bail. At
his March 17 arraignment, he faces an additional murder charge in the
death of Vishv Patel, 7, who died a month after his brother.
DuPage County State's Atty. Joseph Birkett said
Friday that he could not comment on Kaushik Patel's statements, but
that prosecutors would seek an additional count of murder next week
when they present the case to the grand jury.
"The case will proceed to trial," Birkett said.
"We've got some information we're still gathering from the hospital."
Glendale Heights Police Cmdr. Dennis Schar declined
to discuss Patel's statements, but said, "He's charged with several
counts of homicide so I'll let those speak for themselves."
Asked if investigators had found any signs of
domestic disturbances at the Patel home, Schar said, "There were no
police reports to indicate that."
With his arms still bandaged from burns, Kaushik
Patel said he tried to kill himself because he was overwhelmed by
family difficulties involving his wife and her mother, who came to
live with them three years ago. Before then, he said the couple had a
Kaushik Patel immigrated to the United States from
India in 1992. After the couple's arranged marriage in 1997, he waited
two years for his wife to get a U.S. visa.
After his mother-in-law arrived, Patel said his
wife became increasingly critical. She began to attend parties
frequently and when he questioned her, she dismissed it, asking
whether he trusted her, Patel said.
Patel said his mother-in-law and wife "tortured"
him and that when he tried to talk to his wife about it, she would
listen to her mother, not him.
"If I sat at home, it was a problem. If I went out,
it was a problem," Patel said, calling their treatment "harassment."
On the night the boys were burned, Patel said the
family was supposed to attend a friend's party, but he told his wife
to go ahead and that he would arrive later with the kids. Then, Patel
said, he drove to Wal-Mart and bought a basin. On the way home, he
After bathing his two sons, he told them to dress
themselves while he showered. At that time, Patel brought the jug of
gasoline and a lighter into the bathroom.
As he doused himself with the gas, Patel said his
two sons, who were still undressed, ran into the bathroom and he
accidentally doused them from head to toe with at least half a gallon
of gas. Patel said he doesn't know how the fire was ignited.
Patel said he did not intend to set the boys on
"If I wanted to burn the kids, wouldn't I have put
more gasoline on them?" Patel asked.
Patel drove the critically injured boys to his
brother's home in Hanover Park. As Patel buckled Vishv into the car,
he remembered, the boy asked his father, "Daddy, my skin is burned.
Will it get better?"
Patel and the two boys were treated at Loyola
University Medical Center's burn unit in Maywood. While the boys were
in drug-induced comas, Patel said his wife would visit him every
couple of days. He would ask her about his sons' conditions, and she
would tell him: "What happened is so wrong. You can't do something
On Jan. 17, Om died at the hospital. Vishv died
Patel said he has recurring dreams about his two
sons, including one in which his sons plead with him, "Daddy, I want
to come with you."