Patel, 35, is charged with dousing his sons, Vishv, 7, and Om, 4, with gasoline in the bedroom of their home on Nov. 18, 2007, leaving them with severe burns that eventually led to their deaths months later.
Patel earlier had signaled willingness to accept a life sentence in exchange for avoiding the death penalty, but DuPage County State’s Attorney Joseph Birkett rejected it. Patel public defenders told Judge Kathryn Creswell in August 2008 that Patel was willing to accept a life sentence in exchange for avoiding the death penalty. DuPage County States’ Attorney Joseph Birkett considered the offer for several months before rejecting it.
At a later pre-trial hearing Nisha Patel, the boys’ mother, told Creswell that Vishv told her that on Nov. 18, 2007, his father took the boys out to buy toy cars, stopped to buy gasoline and returned with the boys to the family Glendale Heights home. She said Vishv said their father “told them to get into the bathroom and get into a green tub.” After the boys were burned, the defendant placed the boys in his car and drove them to a home of another family member in Hanover Park, where that family member called police. Patel also was burned seriously in the incident but has since recovered.