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Indian American Teen Sentenced For Strangling of Mother

(L-R) Mother Nalini Tellaprolu & Arnav Uppalapati

CARY, NC— A North Carolina teenager who strangled his mother after a disagreement over pizza was sentenced on November 30th to 12 to 15 years in state prison.

Indian American Arnav Uppalapati was 16 when he committed the heinous crime in his Cary, North Carolina home, but he is now 19 and will serve his sentence in prison rather than a juvenile detention center. Uppalapati himself called police after he strangled his mother, saying that intruders had entered the home. But from the start of the investigation, the boy was always considered a person of interest in the case. He pleaded guilty after his DNA was found at the crime scene.

According to prosecutors, on the night of the fatal strangling, Uppalapati angered his mother, Nalini Tellaprolu, 51 at the time of her death, by ordering a pizza. His mom allegedly slapped him. Uppalapati then grabbed a plastic bag, which he put over his mother’s head to choke her to death.

The boy then put his mother’s body in the garage of their home, then called 911 to say he found his dead mother after returning home from school.

Arnav’s father, Babu Uppalapati, was never considered a person of interest in the case as he was out of town on a business trip when his wife was killed.

Police arriving at the home found no signs of forced entry. They also learned that Tellaprolu was very strict about activating her home alarm system. The victim’s body was covered in bruises and she had scratches on her face, neck, torso and arms.

The plastic bag over Tellaprolu’s head was tested in a laboratory, in which the teenager’s DNA was discovered at its knot. Uppalapati strangled his mother for at least four minutes, according to local news reports.

Uppalapati’s father and sister were in court, but he allegedly did not look at them as he was led away to begin his sentence, according to the newspaper.

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