(WWLP) – A Texas man was sentenced in connection with the kidnapping and stalking of his then-wife in Agawam, and his subsequent efforts to prevent her testimony in federal court.
According to the office of Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell, 32-year-old Sunil K. Akula was sentenced on Friday, May 14 to 56 months in prison and three years of supervised release for kidnapping, stalking, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering. Akula pleaded guilty to those charges in November 2020. He will be subject to deportation to India upon completion of his sentence.
On August 6, 2019, Akula traveled from his home in Texas to Agawam to confront his then-wife, from whom he was living apart. According to Mendell, Akula subsequently assaulted his wife and forced her to leave her apartment and get into a car with him, stating that he was taking her back to Texas.
While driving his wife through multiple states, Akula again assaulted her, forced her to send a resignation e-mail to her employer, smashed her laptop and threw it on the side of the highway. Akula then stopped at a Knox County, Tennesee hotel where he again beat his wife. Akula was later arrested by local law enforcement officers when he left the hotel room.
According to Mendell, Akula then made phone calls to family in India instructing them to contact his wife’s father to convince her to withdraw her statements to law enforcement while he was being held in custody.