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Indian jailed for 82 years by US court for killing compatriot

world Updated: Jan 24, 2016 15:20 IST
Amandeep Singh Dhami

A 30-year-old Indian man has been sentenced to 82 years in jail by a US court for killing a compatriot and wounding another during a festival at a Sikh sports complex in Sacramento in 2008.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Richard Sueyoshi on Friday sentenced Amandeep Singh Dhami to 82 years to life in state prison for killing Parmjit Singh, 26, and wounding Sahibjeet Singh, one of Parmjit’s associates on August 31, 2008, The Sacramento Bee reported.

Dhami managed to flee the festival grounds after the broad-daylight shooting, but a second shooter, Gurpreet Singh Gosal, 28, was captured and handed over to police by locals.

Gosal was sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison after trial for second-degree murder and firing a weapon in the course of a murder for his role in the shooting. Dhami fled the US to India for five years. He was arrested in Jalandhar, Punjab, on local charges by Indian authorities and was extradited to California in 2013 to face charges of second-degree murder and attempted murder.

A Sacramento Superior Court jury in June last year convicted Dhami of the charges.

Prosecutors said Dhami and Gosal sought out Parmjit and his men at the festival grounds as payback for a tussle with members of his crew at a San Jose nightclub days earlier. The fight had been the latest in a long-standing feud between the rival camps, the paper quoted prosecutors as saying.

“At his trial, prosecutors depicted Dhami as a low-level, but violent, gangster who boasted of his exploits in rhymes and on social media where his moniker was ‘Mista Killafornia’,” the paper said.

Prosecutors said Dhami and Gosal were armed with three handguns and about 250 rounds of ammunition when they climbed out of their Lincoln Navigator in the festival’s parking lot. Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Anthony Ortiz called Dhami “a hardcore gangster armed for war”, it said.

Dhami took the stand at trial, testifying that he and Gosal went to the festival to mend fences after the incident at the San Jose nightclub, but were armed in case of an ambush. Dhami said he envisioned a meeting of “two gangsters who could work things out,” before shots rang out.

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