A Woodside man accused of killing his wife to get her life insurance money pleaded not guilty to murder in San Mateo County Superior Court today. At a preliminary hearing in October, Judge Jonathan Karesh ruled there was enough evidence to try Pooroushasb “Peter” Parineh, 66, for the murder of his wife, Parima, on April 13, 2010.
Parineh is suspected of shooting his wife multiple times in the head, while allegedly staging the murder to look a suicide, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. At the time of his wife’s death, Parineh’s real estate investments had left him heavily in debt, and their mansion on Fox Hill Road was in foreclosure, Wagstaffe said. After the defendant called 911 at about 5:20 p.m. on the day his wife was killed, Parineh told sheriff’s investigators that he had returned home and found her dead, apparently after shooting herself in the head, according to Wagstaffe.
The victim had attempted to kill herself at least once before, Wagstaffe said. However, evidence at the scene, including the victim’s multiple gunshot wounds and the position of her body, led investigators to believe that Parima had been murdered and likely knew the person who killed her, according to the district attorney’s office.
The victim’s life insurance policies were estimated to be worth at least $20 million, Wagstaffe said. Parineh was arrested on June 18, 2010. In pleading not guilty to murder, Parineh also denied the special-circumstance allegation of discharging a firearm during a crime and committing murder for financial gain. He remains in custody without bail and is due back in court to set a date for jury trial on Dec. 6.
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