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One held for Indian student's murder in US

Source: PTI
January 24, 2008 22:31 IST
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In an apparent breakthrough in the killing of Indian student Abhijit Mahato, the police have arrested a young suspect and charged him with murder and robbery.

Mahato, 29, an IIT alumnus who was studying for an engineering doctorate degree at the Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering in Durham, was found shot dead at his residence near the Duke university campus last Friday.

The arrest by the Durham Police came after a late-night chase into Wake County and the suspect has been charged with murdering Mahato during a robbery in his apartment.

The police on Wednesday charged Stephen Lavance Oates Jr, 19, with murder and robbery in Mahato's death.
Oates was among four people -- including two 14-year-olds -- who were arrested on Tuesday after police chased their car into Wake County, according to an online update in Durham's News and Observer.

Investigators said the arrests may have brought them a step closer to solving some of the more than 70 robberies committed since January one. At least four of the robberies involved Duke students and faculty, the report said.

In addition to the murder of Mahato, Oates was charged with robbery and simple assault related to an armed robbery Saturday at Bennett Pointe Grill on Hillsborough Road, the report said.

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