Patel found guilty of killing wife

Harish Patel

December 18, 2009 3:04:21 PM PST
A jury has found a Cary man guilty of murdering his wife then setting her body on fire.

Harish Patel was charged with first-degree murder in the death of his estranged wife Vanlata Patel.

The verdict came after more than two weeks of evidence -- all from prosecutors.

Jurors deliberated Wednesday through Friday.

In his closing argument, the prosecutor used a red plastic gas can as a prop. The can was a centerpiece of the state's case.

The jury saw surveillance video of Harish Patel buying it and gas at a convenience store near his apartment in Cary on January 16, 2008.

Hours later, his wife's body was found burning off I-85 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia.

Vanlata Patel's son reported her missing to the Cary Police Department on January 17, after she failed to board a flight to visit him in Canada.

Patel will be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

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