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For seven years, US fugitive lived quietly in Hyderabad

On February 13, 2007, Livingston was sentenced to 23 years in jail. The court, however, allowed him 60 days to put his affairs in order, during which time he disappeared.

By: Express News Service | Chennai/hyderabad, Hyderabad |
Updated: July 20, 2015 1:46:22 pm
US fugitive, US fugitive hyderabad, US most wanted, America most wanted, Muddamalle Amit Livingston, US fugitive in India, Hyderabad US fugitive, Sanjay Kumar, Amit Livingston, Amit Livingston arrest, Amit Livingston murder, Hermilla Hernandez, Indian express, world news Amit Livingston after his extradition, in Texas on July 14. (Source: AP)

For about seven years, he lived an anonymous life as Sanjay Kumar, working as a medical transcriptionist with an outsourcing firm in Secunderabad. Till his arrest on May 11, 2014, when it emerged that he was in fact Muddamalle Amit Livingston, one of America’s most wanted.

Last week, Livingston was extradited to the US where he will serve a 23-year prison term, almost a decade after he pleaded guilty to killing his former lover, Hermilla Hernandez, a married mother of three children.

An Indian-American medical billing specialist from Texas, Livingston is the son of a Chicago-based anesthesiologist. On September 30, 2005, Livingston, then 36, had shot Hernandez with a shotgun after she reportedly told him that she wanted to end their relationship. The body, which was dumped on a secluded beach, was found on October 4, 2005.

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On February 13, 2007, Livingston was sentenced to 23 years in jail. The court, however, allowed him 60 days to put his affairs in order, during which time he disappeared. He arrived in India, allegedly on a fake passport, and settled down in Hyderabad, the place where he was born.

His neighbours remembered him as a person who kept to himself. “He fled from the US and arrived in Hyderabad in August 2007. He took rooms on rent for short periods. In 2009, he took a small flat, a penthouse, on rent in an apartment in Madhavpuri Colony of Sainikpuri and was living there, almost inconspicuously. His neighbours hardly knew him and he made no attempt to talk with anyone,” said then Inspector Prathap Kumar of Kushaiguda police station who led the raid to arrest Livingston. Kumar is now Assistant Commissioner with Cyberabad Cyber Crimes.

“Livingston was so good at forging papers that he got a PAN card, ration card and driver’s licence as Sanjay Kumar. Based on his knowledge of medical transcription he also secured a good job with an outsourcing firm based in Secunderabad. He had purchased a couple of laptops and electronic gadgets for his work but stayed out of sight,” said Kumar.

For nearly a year before his arrest, an investigation team from the US embassy and a team from Cyberabad Police followed leads and clues. Officials said after they got to know that he had assumed the identity of Sanjay Kumar, they kept a watch on him for several days before confirming his identify.

“When we showed his photograph to the manager of the firm, he immediately identified him as Sanjay Kumar… He said that he was good at his job and mostly worked from home,’’ he said.

Police said they confronted him after confirming his identity from different sources. “He opened the door and identified himself as Sanjay Kumar. When we asked him about Amit Livingston, he became agitated. He was arrested without any incident,’’ said an official.

Livingston was then sent to the Cherlapally Central Prison. “He hardly spoke with anyone here. But one day, he remarked to a fellow prisoner that a person cannot hide from himself if he has committed a crime and cannot escape the law, especially if the crime was committed in the US. He rued that some people he knew in Hyderabad gave him up to the authorities,’’ said an official.

Jail Superintendent Venkateshwar Reddy said Livingston got no visitors. “I do not remember any incident or issue related to him while he was an inmate here,’’ he said.

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