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Charges upgraded to attempted murder for man behind Apex machete attack

Posted January 24

Neel Salil Mehta has his first court appearance on Jan. 13, 2017, via video conference from jail. He is charged with attacking his ex-girlfriend with a machete.

— Charges against a man accused of attacking an Apex woman with a machete were upgraded on Tuesday to attempted murder.

Neel Salil Mehta, 20, of 602 Halcyon Meadow Drive in Cary was initially charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting injury.

According to Apex police, Priyanka Kumari, 18, was walking home from a school bus stop on Jan. 12, when she was stabbed by Mehta outside a home at 1837 Venezia Way.

Mehta told police that Kumari hadn't been returning his calls, texts or emails, and District Attorney Anna Davis said investigators determined that Mehta had been sending her threatening emails and had been planning the attack for about two weeks.

Although authorities initially identified Mehta as Kumari’s ex-boyfriend, her father, Pankaj Kumar said his daughter and Mehta never dated. He said she had mentioned Mehta’s peculiar behavior once before, but said, in part because he travels often for business, he didn’t know about the alleged harassing emails and text messages until after the attack.

Kumar said his daughter is still recovering at home after the attack and still has nightmares.

“She was living and happy and content with her life before this happened and then I look at her and feel very sad,” he said.


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  • Sam Walker Jan 24, 2017
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    Hopefully they will make the sentence fit the charge. Our legal system rarely has anything to do with justice.

  • Sam Walker Jan 24, 2017
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    View quoted thread

  • Norman Lewis Jan 24, 2017
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    What genius legal eagle did it take to decide a machete wielding attacker may have been trying to kill someone? A machete is a deadly weapon and you don't use one to "punish" somebody. If he had used a rolled up newspaper or branch from a tree, he might have been trying to hurt her but a machete? This should have been an automatic attempted murder charge.