A Woodside man accused of murdering his wife for financial gain delayed entering a plea in San Mateo County Superior Court Thursday afternoon for the second time since he was arrested last week.
Pooroushasb "Peter" Parineh, 64, was taken into custody June 18, more than two months after the fatal shooting of his wife, Parima Parineh, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.
Prosecutors say Peter Parineh staged his wife's murder to look like a suicide. He had taken out a life insurance policy on her far enough in the past that death by suicide would not have prevented him from collecting the life insurance money.
He needed the money because his home was in foreclosure and he had garnered "enormous" debt at the time of his wife's death, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
A judge set his next appearance for a plea entry on July 1.
According to prosecutors, Peter Parineh called 911 at about 4 p.m. April 13 and said he had come home to find his wife had shot herself.
Six days later, evidence at the scene and a subsequent autopsy led investigators with the Sheriff's Office to believe that Parima Parineh had been murdered.
There were no signs of forced entry and no indication that Parima Parineh did not know her killer, San Mateo County sheriff's Lt. Ray Lunny said.
"From the very beginning, evidence appeared to indicate that this was a murder," Prosecutor Al Giannini said outside the courtroom Thursday.
Mr. Giannini added that Peter Parineh was not immediately arrested because police wanted to wait until the investigation was complete before filing charges.
He was charged with one count of murder with the special circumstance of murdering for financial gain, Mr. Giannini said. He faces life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty, but the district attorney's office has not yet decided whether to seek death.
Mr. Parineh remains in custody without bail.