A Westminster man charged with first-degree murder in the death of his father waived his right to a speedy trial Thursday morning in Carroll County Circuit Court. His jury trial, originally set to begin May 1, is now scheduled for Nov. 13.
Ravi Pansuriya, 30, is charged with murder in the Oct. 2 death and dismemberment of his father, Maganbhai Pansuriya, 59, a doctor who lived in Westminster. The defendant appeared reserved in court, responding quietly when spoken to, his eyes drifting down toward the ground when no one was speaking.
[ Police report details of investigation on Westminster doctor found dismembered ]
Although Marylanders have the right to be tried for a crime within 180 days of an initial circuit court appearance, Alexander Cruickshank, a public defender representing Pansuriya, said he needs extra time to properly review an outstanding report from the medical examiner. Judge Brian DeLeonardo presided over the hearing.
“After it is reviewed, there is a strong possibility that we will want employ our own expert to also review it, and we may go out and get our own experts based on whatever that report says,” Cruickshank said.
An autopsy of Maganbhai Pansuriya’s remains, found Oct. 2 on the shoulder of Medford Road in Westminster, initially had been delayed due to the condition of the body. On Thursday, Deputy State’s Attorney Melissa Hockensmith, who is prosecuting the case, said a complete autopsy was further delayed so an anthropologist may contribute to the report.
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Cruikshank said most U.S. public defenders do not have sufficient resources to employ expert witnesses, but he hopes to call an expert from the Public Defender’s Office Forensics Division in Westminster or a doctor affiliated with Johns Hopkins University to testify in the case.
“Luckily, we’re in Maryland, and we have the necessary funds available to employ experts to make sure that our clients receive a fair defense,” Cruikshank said. “One of the big issues that you’re going to have with any sort of case like this is that the state has funding available with which they can employ any necessary expert. Typically, the Office of the Public Defender is underfunded and unable to provide defendants with necessary experts from labs.”
According to the statement of probable cause filed in the District Court of Maryland for Carroll County, Maganbhai Pansuriya’s wife reported him missing Oct. 2 and deputies from the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant on his home.
During the search, investigators “observed what appeared to be possible human flesh” on the rear bumper of a truck registered to Maganbhai Pansuriya and on a doormat in the home’s driveway. Deputies located blood throughout the home, including in the bathroom and garage and also found “numerous tools” that appeared to have blood, tissue and hair on them in the garage. Deputies also found clothes with suspected blood on them that they say belonged to Ravi Pansuriya, during the search, according to the statement.