'Anonymity' Breached; Man Convicted

  • Return to Recovery Watch
  • Home to Positive Atheism
  • March 15, 1995

    White Plains, N.Y. (AP) -- A man who was turned in by a fellow Alcoholics Anonymous member after confiding he had nightmares about a slaying was sentenced Tuesday to up to 50 years in prison for stabbing a couple to death in his childhood home.

    Paul Cox, 27, had claimed he was in an alcoholic stupor and therefore temporarily insane when he killed Dr. Lakshman Rao Chervu, 58, and his wife, Dr. Shanta Chervu, 51, in 1988 in their suburban New York home. But the jury convicted him of manslaughter.

    Cox had lived in the house until he was 7, and the defense said he thought he was killing his parents.

    Justice James Cowhey gave Cox the maximum, 16 1/2 to 50 years in prison. A fellow AA member tipped police in 1993 to Cox's stories that he had nightmares about the slayings. He was linked to the crime by a fingerprint at the Larchmont house.

    Cox never discussed the slayings at open AA meetings, but seven AA members testified anonymously under subpoena that he told them about the killings.

    The forced testimony from AA members raised concern over the confidentiality of self-help groups.