(NBC NEWS) – A man was given two life sentences Wednesday for killing his wife with a highly venomous cobra in India, NBC News reports.
While the case’s eye-catching details have drawn international attention, the country’s Supreme Court has suggested it may be part of a growing trend in India where murderers use poisonous snakes in an effort to pass off the death as accidental.
Sooraj Kumar was sentenced Wednesday after being found guilty of murder by a lower court in the state of Kerala on Monday.
According to prosecutors, Kumar married his wife for financial gain but soon became dissatisfied with the marriage and began conspiring to kill her.
“If he divorces her he will have to part with all her wealth,” Hariram Shankar, assistant superintendent of police in Kerala told NBC News. “If he kills her through an explicit murder weapon, the wealth would also have to be returned. So he wanted to get rid of her through something that would resemble an accident.”