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Sacramento DA / Media / Press Release Archives / 2017 Press Release Archives / 5.12.17: Defendant Convicted for Murder by Lying in Wait

Defendant Convicted for Murder by Lying in Wait

DATE:  May 12, 2017

CASE:  Timothy Varmall (Case #15F01019)

PROSECUTOR:  Deputy District Attorney Omar Singh, Homicide Unit

The Honorable Michael Bowman found Timothy Varmall guilty of the first-degree murder of Smurti Patel.  Judge Bowman also found true the allegations that Varmall was personally armed and committed the murder by means of lying in wait.

Between September 2014 and February 2015, Timothy Varmall followed Smurti 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 Ms. Patel.  On February 9, 2015, Varmall stalked Ms. Patel and followed her onto a light rail train.  As they exited, Ms. Patel spotted Varmall and agreed to walk with him. As they walked across a dark lot, Varmall stabbed Ms. Patel seven times. Varmall fled the area while Ms. Patel staggered across the street to a restaurant, where medics were called to the scene.  Ms. Patel died from her wounds on February 13, 2015. Varmall confided in one of Ms. Patel’s friends that he murdered her because he was romantically interested in Ms. Patel and she rejected him.

The Court also found true that Varmall suffered two prior strike convictions for purposes of the Three Strikes Law.  In 1994, Varmall 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, 2017, at 10:30 a.m. in Department 20 before the Honorable Michael Bowman.  


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