An Indian appeals court on Friday overturned the conviction of a US teenager,who had been accused of killing his mother while on vacation in western India.
The Rajasthan High Court ordered Joncarlo Pattons immediate release from a juvenile detention facility. It was not immediately clear on what grounds the court overturned his conviction.
Patton was sentenced last year to three years in an Indian juvenile detention facility after he was found guilty of slitting his mothers throat in Rajasthan in August 2010. Prosecutors accused Patton of killing Cynthia Iannarelli because he was traumatised over his parents divorce. Police said Patton left the wrapped body on a sand dune near the Osian resort and was arrested at the airport as he tried to fly home.
Patton,who was 16 when he was arrested,has said he is innocent and has accused police of forcing him to confess.
The teenagers father,Richard Patton,said the family was overjoyed at his acquittal.
While this does not in any way lessen the tragic death of Dr Iannarelli,both the Patton and Iannarelli families are relieved and joyful with Joncarlos acquittal,an outcome we have believed in and expected from the very beginning, Richard Patton said in a written statement.
The teenagers lawyer,Rahul Mehra,said Patton had been turned over to US Embassy officials for repatriation.