The debt-saddled Woodside man who prosecutors say staged his wife’s
fatal shooting in April to look like a suicide in an attempt to cash in
on a life insurance policy will learn some time next year whether he’ll
stand trial on charges of murder and financial gain — a combination
that makes him eligible for the death penalty.
Whether Pooroushasb “Peter” Parineh, 65, will face death row or
life in prison without parole if convicted of killing his 56-year-old
wife, Parima, won’t come until much later, however. The District
Attorney’s Office tends to hold off on that weighty decision until
after a preliminary hearing on the evidence. Yesterday, even setting
the matter was pushed back until Jan. 5.
The delay was to complete turning over the evidence to the
defense, according to prosecutor Al Giannini, who said there are
substantial financial records to organize and peruse.
Defense attorney Paul Canny could not be reached for comment.
Yesterday’s postponement is just the latest delay since
Parineh’s arrest in his wife’s April 13 death. Parineh was arrested in
June but repeatedly held off entering a not guilty plea while trying
several times to secure a defense attorney. Canny herself appeared
early in the case, was replaced with another and then returned as
Peter Parineh called 911 April 13 to report finding his wife
dead in a bedroom of their multi-million home on Fox Hill Road. He told
authorities he believed his wife had killed herself. Within days,
however, authorities say they questioned the story — doubt compounded
by multiple shots to Parima Parineh, substantial debt including the
home being in foreclosure and life insurance policies rumored to be $20
The insurance policy’s suicide exclusion period had passed,
making Parineh eligible for a payout if his wife was found to have
indeed killed herself.
But Canny contended after first being retained that her client
was not a beneficiary of any policy, making a financial gain argument
moot. Canny has described Parineh as “heartbroken” over the loss of his
wife and “innocent.”
Authorities arrested Parineh June 17 in Sunnyvale. Parineh is being held without bail.