Court rejects former student’s appeal after murder conviction

Updated: March 28, 2017 at 11:18 p.m.

A Maryland court rejected an appeal Friday from a former student convicted for the 2013 killing of a Georgetown law student.

Rahul Gupta, 27, was found to have fatally stabbed his 24-year-old friend from high school, Mark Waugh, on Oct. 12, 2013 in a 2015 trial that lasted less than two weeks. Gupta was sentenced to life in prison.

Gupta later appealed the conviction to the Maryland Court of Appeals, which dismissed his claims that the trial was corrupted after Gupta was denied from suppressing statements he made to detectives and a judge was allowed to improperly communicate with a juror, according to the court’s appeals decision.

The decision stated that because Gupta did not ask to speak with legal counsel during the investigation and was informed of his rights, his argument to suppress his statements to detectives was not valid.

The decision also stated the trial judge did break court rules when addressing a juror’s question about the length of the trial off the record without notifying the parties involved until later. But the “violation was harmless,” because the parties were later informed and given the opportunity to suggest how to relieve the conflict, according to the decision.

When Gupta was arrested in 2013, he told police that he killed Waugh because Waugh and Gupta’s girlfriend were involved in a romantic relationship behind his back, authorities said.

Gupta earned his undergraduate degree at GW and was studying biomedical engineering for his master’s program at the time of the murder.

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