Dad Pleads Guilty to Burning Sons, Avoids Death Penalty

Kaushik Patel doused sons with gas and set them on fire in 2007

Tuesday, May 18, 2010  |  Updated 4:32 PM CDT
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Kaushik J. Patel

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A suburban Chicago man accused of killing his two sons by setting them afire has pleaded guilty to the charges and will not face the death penalty.

Kaushik Patel of Glendale Heights entered the guilty plea Tuesday in DuPage County Circuit Court. The plea came after State's Attorney Joseph Birkett agreed not to seek the death penalty during talks with defense attorneys.

Immediately following the plea, Patel was sentenced to live in prison without the possibilty of parole.

"You will die in prison, do you understand that?" Judge Kathryn Creswell asked him, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

"Yes," Patel replied.

Patel admitted dousing 7-year-old Vishv Patel and 4-year-old Om Patel with gasoline in the shower of the family's home on Nov. 18, 2007 and setting them on fire. The boys suffered severe burns that led to their deaths months later.

He lowered his head and wept as prosecutors recounted their deaths.

The 35-year-old Kaushik Patel has recovered from burns suffered in the incident.  He'd previously claimed that he poured gasoline on himself in an attempt to commit suicide and that his sons unexpectedly came into the bathroom as he was about to do it.

Members of Patel's family were in attendance when he entered his plea, but not his former wife, Nisha Patel.

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