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US teenager gets life term for murdering Indian

Mehtab Singh

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Press Trust of India

Washington, July 15, 2006

A teenager in the US state of Alabama has been sentenced to life for murdering an Indian car dealer.

Rickey Coleman of Birmingham was found guilty of beating to death Kavinderpal Banga, 44, a used car dealer. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Coleman was ineligible for the death penalty as he was 17 when he hit Banga at his Tarrant car dealership with a crowbar on May 25, 2005.

Coleman and his girlfriend Nintonya Mathews came to the Banga dealership posing as customers while three other friends from a high school were waiting in the parking lot in what is seen as a scheme to steal cars.

After murdering Banga, Coleman and Mathews stole the cars.

The 18-year-old Mathews was given 24 years in prison. The three friends of Coleman were originally charged with capital murder but pleaded guilty to felony, murder and agreed to testify in the trial.

Two of them, Terry Hardy and Randon Neal were given 20 years in prison while the third, Lemarcus Crenshaw, was given 24 years in jail after he lied during the trial.

Banga had moved to the United States from India in 1990.

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