The jury in the murder trial of former Woodside resident Pooroushasb "Peter" Parineh reached a verdict this afternoon, declaring him guilty of first degree murder in the 2010 shooting death of his wife, Parima Parineh, 56, at their Woodside home.
Parineh, 67, faces "a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole," said San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.
The jury, which had been deliberating since Monday, decided that Parineh had committed murder for financial gain. His wife's life was insured for $30 million, and he had seen his real-estate holdings, valued at $152 million in 2007, melt away to the point that he had lost all his income, and had applied for government assistance, prosecutors said.
In prosecuting Parineh, Deputy District Attorney Jeff Finigan returned repeatedly to the improbability of the defense attorney's argument that Parineh's wife had committed suicide. Four 0.38-caliber bullets were found in Parineh's bedroom: one through her cheek and mouth, one that missed, one that may have grazed her head, and a fourth shot through her upper lip that killed her, prosecutors said.
"Is this the most extreme, superhuman suicide ever? No. This is murder plain and simple," Finigan told the jury.
Defense attorney Dek Ketchum attempted to establish in the jurors' minds a reasonable doubt that Parineh had committed murder. "It was a suicide gone horribly wrong by a woman not familiar with the gun," Ketchum said in his summation. "She shot herself, she struggled, she missed and then she killed herself."
The jurors reported out their unanimous decision to Superior Court Judge Lisa Novak at 3:30 p.m.
Parineh's next scheduled court appearance is 1:30 p.m. on July 12 for a pre-sentencing report, sentencing hearing and imposition of a sentence, prosecutors said.