Jayant Kadian, 22, pleaded guilty Monday to the second degree murder of his mother, whom he stabbed more than 30 times as she prepared a plate of food for him at their home in Great Falls.
As part of the plea agreement, prosecuting and defense attorneys agreed that Kadian would be sentenced to serve between 13 and 22 years in prison, within the sentencing guidelines for second degree murder.
“We’re satisfied that Jayant is absolutely making the correct decision here,” said Peter D. Greenspun, Kadian’s defense attorney, during Monday’s plea hearing in Fairfax County Circuit Court.
Kiran Kadian, 52, suffered 23 slash and stab wounds to her neck and seven additional cuts to other parts of her body on March 24, 2005.
“He took a knife out of the knife block, stabbed her in the neck — he didn’t know how many times — but he stabbed her until she was dead,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr.
“Because of the horrific nature of the killing itself,” Greenspun said, there was “the possibility of the jury giving a lengthy, lengthy sentence.”
If a jury rejected Kadian’s planned insanity defense, the commonwealth might have been able to obtain a conviction of first degree murder because of the number of injuries Kadian inflicted upon his mother, Greenspun said.
If convicted of first degree murder, Kadian could have faced between 20 years to life in prison. Second degree murder carries a range of five to 40 years.
“In our view, this was never first degree murder,” said Greenspun.
Kadian appeared in the courtroom Monday well groomed and attentive, in contrast to his appearance at his preliminary hearing in June 2005. He answered Judge Kathleen H. MacKay’s questions with a soft spoken, “Yes, Ma’am,” while family members looked on.
Judge MacKay is scheduled to sentence Kadian in November.
MORE THAN 10 mental health professionals — psychologists, psychiatrists, licensed social workers, and licensed clinical social workers — had treated Kadian in the years up to March 24, 2005.
Few saw him for a long period of time, said Greenspun.
One clinician predicted the possibility of violence and recommended that Kadian not return home from college one Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Greenspun said.
But the family had a “great, great, great deal of interest with his father and mother looking for a family approach, a family solution,” said Greenspun, and Kadian was treated by a series of professionals over the years.
On Aug. 15, 2005, Kadian filed his intent to present an insanity defense at trial.
Had the case gone to trial, “there would have been substantial evidence from the mental health field,” said Horan.
“In spite of the mental health evidence, it was commonwealth’s position that this defendant knew right from wrong and was legally responsible for the killing of his mother,” he said.
PROBLEMS ESCALATED when Kadian was arrested for possession of marijuana days before the murder.
On March 24, 2005, the defendant, his father and mother planned to meet at a mental health professional’s office at 2 p.m. to discuss mental health issues and his extensive drug use, according to Horan.
They were going to discuss placing him in a 28-day inpatient treatment center, but Kadian didn’t want to go, according to court testimony Monday and during earlier court hearings.
When Kadian and his mother didn’t show up for the appointment, Kadian’s father went home to discover his wife’s body on the kitchen floor of their home on Thompson Ridge Court in Great Falls.
Dr. Rajesh Kadian told 911 dispatchers that he believed his son might be responsible, and that his son was suicidal, had psychotic tendencies, suffers from depression and had threatened his mother and father with violence in the past, according to search warrants filed in the case.
James Madison University police found Kadian asleep inside his car in a campus parking garage in Harrisonburg the next morning. A substantial amount of blood was on his clothing and a bag of marijuana was in open view, said Horan.
Homicide detectives from Fairfax arrived in Harrisonburg soon after James Madison University police arrested Kadian for possession of marijuana.
Entering the room where Kadian was being detained, Fairfax homicide detective David Allen asked Kadian, “Do you know why I’m here?”
Kadian replied, “Yeah, because I stabbed my Mom in the neck.”