PLACER COUNTY (CBS13) – Accused killer Shankar Hangud appeared in a Placer County court Wednesday to be charged in the deaths of four people police believe were his family members.
During the hearing, Hangud said he did not want a public defender but instead wanted to represent himself. This changed though after he met privately with a public defender; and when he announced his decision, he appeared to do it reluctantly. His Public Defender, Martin Jones said, “The judge advised him that’s probably not a good idea. And in this case, it isn’t.”
The prosecution has not decided whether they will seek the death penalty in this case. Jones said, “There is a moratorium now, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a change in the future.”
The criminal complaint was released on Wednesday. It identifies the victims by their initials. J.S. and G.H. were killed on Oct. 7, N.H. was killed on October 8. All there of those victims were found deceased in Hangud’s Roseville apartment, according to Roseville Police. V.H., an East Indian man, was killed on Oct. 13 in Siskiyou County. His body was found in the front seat of Hangud’s Mazda 6 in Mt. Shasta.
On Oct. 14, Hangud drove to the Mt. Shasta Police Department and confessed to police that he had committed a homicide.
Investigators are now piecing together a timeline of events as Hangud left the murder scene in Roseville, and drove hundreds of miles to Mount Shasta where he confessed. Police say he had one of his victims dead in his car, covered with a tarp.
CBS13 is learning one of the victims went to Silverado Middle School. Parents and students there say this is hard on the entire community of Roseville.
“It traumatizes the kids because they don’t understand,” said Sandy Walasek, whose grandson goes to the school.
One student said, “It’s been hard for teachers and students. It’s been sad. I’ve seen a lot of kids crying.”
Hangud is being charged with first-degree murder for each killing. There are also enhancements for committing multiple murders, and for committing them in multiple jurisdictions.
The arraignment will be continued until October 25 at 8:30 a.m. Click/tap here to read the charges against Hangud.