Kapali Swamy

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Kapali Giridhar Swamy (born October 10, 1980 in Natchez, Mississippi - died November 18, 2007) was a public relations professional and bar manager at WorkPlay who was killed by a blow to the head.

Swamy grew up in Decatur and attended Boston University and graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2002 before earning his master's in business administation from UAB in 2006.

Early in the morning of November 18, Swamy was driving his girlfriend, Gina Gonzalez, and another acquaintance back to their Cullman County homes after a night out in Birmingham. According to the other passenger, Christopher Pennington, Swamy and his girlfriend got into an argument and he stopped the car along the road. He said that he punched Swamy in the head after being shoved out of the way when he tried to protect Gonzalez. Whether Swamy touched either Gonzalez or Pennington before he was struck is disputed.

Cullman County investigators determined that Swamy's death was a homicide from blunt force trauma. A grand jury declined in January 2008 to indict Pennington for manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide.

Swamy's family and friends continue to seek criminal charges and to educate the public about the lethal danger of blunt-force trauma. An online petition alleging racial bias in the handling of the case has garnered thousands of signatures in support of their cause. They have also launched a scholarship fund to assist aspiring filmmakers at Birmingham-Southern.


  • Wolfson, Hannah (November 25, 2008) "Five Points South rally set for today for man beaten to death last year." Birmingham News
  • Sutton, Jared A. (September 23, 2008) "Friends of Kapali Swamy speak out about case." UAB Kaleidoscope

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