Several people testified at Friday's preliminary hearing at the Delaware County Courthouse for Bhavnaben Ingle and her son, Parth Ingle, who are both charged with first-degree murder in connection with the killing of Arunkumar Ingle, 55, in his Middletown home in 2008.
The preliminary hearing will continue Monday afternoon in District Court 32-2-48.
According to State Police, Arunkumar Ingle was brutally killed in his 281 Chestnut Avenue residence on Jan. 20, 2008 and his body was found the following day. The Delaware County Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide and the cause of death was crushing blunt force head injuries with multiple stab wounds to the head and neck, according to State Police.
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It was known amongst the family and several friends that Arunkumar Ingle was having extramarital affairs for several years. It has been alleged that Arunkumar Ingle planned to fake his own death, cash in $3.6 million in life insurance policies and be with his mistress, according to court documents.
The defendants sister and daughter Avnee Ingle, Parth Ingle's wife Devika Ingle, friends of Arunkumar Ingle and a friend of Parth Ingle's along with an EMT responder to the scene and a Pennsylvania State Trooper were among Friday's witnesses.
The Ingle's Sister, Daughter
Assistant District Attorney Thomas Lawrie asked Avnee Ingle several times about the timeline of events and her reaction upon arriving at the crime scene.
Avnee Ingle, 28, testified that she was at a New York City party the night before her father's death and her brother brought her mother to her apartment on Jan. 21 so she could drive herself and her mother to work at a family-owned 7-Eleven store in Delaware.
Avnee Ingle testified that she and her mother first stopped at her parent's Middletown home to pick up food with the intention of then continuing on to work. Avnee Ingle stayed in the car while her mother went inside the house.
However, when her mother returned from the house she was distraught and upset and continued to repeat the words "dad" and "blood," Avnee Ingle testified.
"She wasn't making any sense and just kept saying, 'dad, blood' and she became unresponsive really quick," Avnee Ingle said on the witness stand.
Lawrie asked why she did not then run into the house or call out for her father and Avnee Ingle said she was immediately on the phone with 911 and they instructed her to stay outside. Lenni Heights Fire Co. was also then immediately on the scene and they too instructed Avnee Ingle to stay outside, she said.
"You didn't yell for him because you already knew he was dead right," Lawrie asked.
Avnee Ingle responded with a definitive "no."
Parth Ingle's Wife
Devika Ingle, Parth Ingle's wife since April 2009, also testified at the hearing saying Parth Ingle informed her on Jan. 20, 2008 that his mother would be staying the night at their house in Pottstown, which was not unusual.
Devika Ingle testified that Parth Ingle, 25, picked up Bhavnaben Ingle, 52, and brought her to their house sometime in the evening and she was staying because his father was having some sort of meeting at the house and wanted his mother to leave.
Lawrie inquired about a trip to Walmart that the three of them took late that night and said the store receipt showed the time of purchase to be 1:45 a.m. on Jan. 21, 2008 and also asked about a text message Devika Ingle received from Parth Ingle around 2:15 a.m.
Devika Ingle confirmed they did go to Walmart but could not recall the text message. She did say she and Parth Ingle remained in the house together following the trip to Walmart.
On Jan. 21, 2008, Devika and Parth Ingle dropped Bhavnaben Ingle off at Avnee Ingle's Philadelphia apartment and continued on with their day, Devika Ingle testified. Until they received a phone call from Avnee Ingle later in the day saying their mother was in the hospital and something had happened to their father.
The four family members met at Riddle Memorial Hospital where Bhavnaben Ingle had been transported after continuously being unresponsive at the crime scene.
Riddle Hospital EMT Kimberly Bonsall testified that she was one of the first to arrive at the scene in response to a "dead on arrival" call.
She and her partner went into the house, saw that Arunkumar Ingle was clearly dead on the master bedroom floor and exited the home immediately without touching the body or anything in the house.
Shortly thereafter, Avnee Ingle approached Bonsall outside and asked that she check out her mother because she was acting strangely, Bonsall testified.
Bonsall said Bhavnaben Ingle was sitting in the passenger side of a car and was "rocking back and forth."
"I asked her if she was hurt or in any pain and she was unresponsive and didn't make any eye contact," Bonsall said on the witness stand.
Bhavnaben Ingle was then transported to Riddle Hospital for further care.
Once the four family members were reunited at the hospital and Bhavnaben Ingle was released, they all then went to Pennsylvania State Police-Media Barracks for lengthy questioning.
Two of Arunkumar Ingle's close friends testified along with a close childhood friend of Parth Ingle's.
Prathmesh Patel, Arunkumar Ingle's childhood friend from his native India, testified he was aware of Arunkumar Ingle's extramarital affairs because Bhavnaben Ingle had approached him about it years earlier and asked for his help in saving their marriage.
Patel said he suggested she request a divorce but she responded that she loved her husband and wanted to work it out.
Patel said when he tried to intervene and asked Arunkumar to sit down with himself and Bhavnaben, he refused and said if Patel brought it up again he would commit suicide. Patel said he then backed off the subject.
Patel also testified that Arunkumar and Bhavnaben Ingle's marriage was a "love marriage" not an arranged marriage.
Raj Desai, another of Arunkumar Ingle's friends, testified that he was not aware of Arunkumar Ingle's extramarital affairs.
"There marriage was normal. I didn't see any trouble," Desai said.
Gordon Kusturiss, Parth Ingle's childhood friend and son of John Kusturiss, Parth Ingle's attorney, testified that Parth had told him about Arunkumar Ingle's affairs and Parth was very upset about it.
Kusturiss testified that Parth Ingle told him about the affairs, the
Kusturiss also testified that Parth Ingle found passport photos and false identification documents for Arunkumar Ingle.
Parth brought this information to the attention of authorities but was told nothing could be done because no one had committed a crime yet, Kusturiss testified.
Kusturiss testified that Parth told him about an email between Arunkumar Ingle and a Russian girlfriend that said he had a "big contract coming up" and would receive some money.
Kusturiss testified that the amount of money mentioned in the email matched the same amount of money in insurance policies taken out on the Ingle family.
"(Parth) was concerned about his family, including his father," Kusturiss said on the witness stand. "The large life insurance policy, coupled with the fake passport documents, it was concerning."