Yandamuri, 26, is charged with murder, kidnapping, burglary, robbery and abuse of a corpse in the Oct. 22 deaths of 10-month-old Saanvi Venna and Satyavathi Venna, 61.
His preliminary hearing Wednesday will be before Magisterial District Judge James P. Gallagher in Bridgeport. He's being held without bail in Montgomery County Prison.
Yandamuri's financial trouble "certainly is part of my investigation," said Stephen Heckman, his court-appointed attorney. "I know there is an issue there." Heckman declined to give further details, saying he hasn't fully questioned Yandamuri.
The case, which has riveted the Indian community here and abroad, started as a murder mystery when Venkata Venna arrived home from work Oct. 22 to find his mother stabbed to death and his baby missing.
For four days, authorities released little information as they worked to identify a killer who had left multiple ransom notes warning that Saanvi would be "cut into pieces" if her parents didn't pay $50,000 for her return.
Investigators suspected someone close to the family, because the ransom-note author used the parents' little-known nicknames.
By Oct. 26, Yandamuri, the Venna family's neighbor and social acquaintance, had confessed that he'd schemed to kidnap Saanvi to extort money from her parents, both software engineers whom he figured could afford the ransom. He is charged with killing the grandmother when she moved to protect Saanvi and with suffocating the baby to quiet her crying. He directed police to Saanvi's body, hidden in a blue suitcase in the apartment building's basement sauna.
He asked police to tell reporters that his pregnant wife turned him in so that she would get the $30,000 reward for information leading to his arrest. It's unclear if Yandamuri continued having financial problems after moving to Pennsylvania. Heckman said his client was working as a software engineer at the time of the Venna murders. Court records from his bankruptcy, filed in April, note that he sent $600 a month to support his parents in India. But according to Indian media, his father, a police constable, died in 1997.
His mother, Padmavathi Yandamuri, who lives in southern India, told an Indian TV reporter that her son came to the United States in 2007 to attend college. She said she couldn't imagine her "kindhearted" son killing anyone, but said he deserves to be punished if he's guilty.