A Woodside man was found guilty of murdering his wife and covering it up as a suicide to collect insurance money this afternoon in San Mateo County Superior Court, prosecutors said.
After four days of deliberation, the jury returned with a guilty verdict of first-degree murder for Pooroushash “Peter” Parineh, 67, in the shooting death of his wife Parima Parineh on April 13, 2010.
Parineh testified that on that day he found his 56-year-old wife's bloody body in bed in the master bedroom of their Woodside mansion. She was shot twice in the head, with wounds that prosecutors said could not have been self-inflicted.
Parineh was in dire financial straits when his wife died, according to lawyers and witnesses from both the defense and prosecution. Five of his properties were in foreclosure and he was within days of being evicted from his Woodside home. Apparently his wife had more than $30 million worth of life insurance policies in her name, which prosecutors argued provided a motive for the suicide cover-up in her murder.
The defense contested that Parima Parineh, an accomplished painter, was depressed in the months before her death and that she shot herself knowing her family was facing financial ruin.
The defense argued that the gunshot would that entered from the right of her mouth and out the left side of her head might not have been fatal, allowing her to fire a second shot.
At the end of the trial, which began mid-April, the jury found Parineh guilty of murder with the special circumstance of killing for financial gain and for using a firearm.
Parineh is set to be sentenced on July 12. He faces a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Last year prosecutors decided not to seek the death penalty in the case.