Grand jury upgrades charges to attempted murder in Apex machete attack

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- A grand jury in Wake County has upgraded charges for the man accused of attacking a teenager with a machete.

The Wake County DA says jurors indicted 20-year-old Neel Mehta on an attempted first-degree murder charge and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury.

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The victim, Priyanka Kumari, 18, suffered severe cuts to her head and hands.

Mehta previously faced assault charges.

Kumari was recently released from Duke Medical Center, where she was treated for deep cuts from the blows of Mehta's machete across her face, head, and neck. Her father, Pankaj Kumar, said she had 46 cuts on her head alone.


Kumar said Mehta was obsessed with his daughter from the time they attended school together at Green Hope High School in Cary.

He said he had her transferred to Holly Springs High School at the end of 2015 to get away from Mehta.

About a month before the attack, Kumar said Mehta started sending her threatening texts and messages on social media.

Kumari's father told ABC11 over the phone Tuesday afternoon he wanted charges against Mehta upgraded from the beginning.

"I definitely feel that she will be happy and that, slowly, we will move towards getting justice," said Pankaj Kumar.

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