All 10 convicts in Kevin murder case have been sentenced to double life imprisonment and slapped a fine of Rs 40,000 on each. The Kottayam principal sessions court pronounced the verdict on Tuesday and clarified that both the terms could be served together. The judge had found 10 of the 14 accused guilty when he pronounced the verdict on August 22 and death sentence was expected when the sentence was pronounced today, at least for the first three guilty.. However, double life imprisonment for murder and kidnap and threat was given taking into consideration the young age of the convicts and also because they did not have any criminal antecedents.
Among the guilty is Shanu Chacko, the brother of Neenu, who was the wife of Kevin. However, her father Chacko was acquitted for want of evidence. The others found guilty are Niyas Mon, Ishan, Riyas, Chacko, Manu Muraleedharan, Shefin, Nishad, Tittu Jeram, Vishnu, Fazil Sherif, Shinu Shajahan, Shinu Nasar and Ramees. As per the sentence, prime witness Aneesh would get Rs 1 lakh from the fine amount and the rest would be shared by Kevin's father Joseph and wife Neenu. Kevin was abducted on May 27, 2018, by a gang allegedly hired by his wife's family and his body was found in a river in Kollam district a day later.
During the trial, what turned crucial was Neenu's submission that it was honour killing as he was abducted and killed by her relatives. She deposed that her father had objected to her relationship as Kevin was from a lower caste. The kidnapping and murder was conspired by her relatives as they felt the marriage would 'dishonour' their family. The High Court had earlier directed that the trial be completed in six months. But, the verdict came in half the time. Kevin's father Joseph said the decision to let go Chacko was improper and he would file an appeal against it as he felt that Chacko was the main conspirator in the case. UNI