Local News

Cary man sentenced to 12 years in prison on charges he killed his mother

Posted November 30, 2018 9:53 a.m. EST
Updated November 30, 2018 6:20 p.m. EST

— Arnav Uppalapati, 19, was once a promising student headed to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

He will spend the next 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to killing his mother during argument in December 2015 in their Cary home.

“She may have pushed him or slapped him, and he choked her,” prosecutor Howard Cummings said.

Arnav Uppalapati

Attorneys said Nalini Tellaprolu was hard on her son.

“Verbal and physical abuse, for a lack of a better word, from my client's mother, the evidence would show, had been going on for some time before that,” defense attorney Ryan Willis said.

Investigators ruled that Tellaprolu had been strangled inside the home. They never publicly disclosed a motive for the killing.

Cummings said Uppalapati dragged his mother's body into the garage, where he put a bag over her face.

“He did not want to carry her out to the car and have to see her face,” Cummings said. “After all, it was his mother.”

The DNA from the bag was the evidence that tied him to the crime. He confessed.

Cary woman's death ruled a homicide

“I believe, sometimes, when you snap, it's because you're all bottled up, and things have been going on for a while,” Cummings said.

Uppalapati’s father and sister sat behind him in the courtroom.

Cummings discussed the plea deal with the family.

“I want them to know when they walk away that someone is still thinking about them, and someone in the system still cares about them,” Cummings said.

Cummings said Uppalapati's age, immaturity and his confession early in the investigation led to the plea deal.