Gurpreet Gosal

Gosal convicted of murder in Sikh festival shooting death

Published: Saturday, Jun. 22, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 2B
Last Modified: Saturday, Jun. 22, 2013 - 8:37 am

A Sacramento jury convicted Gurpreet Singh Gosal of second-degree murder Friday in the shooting death of a 26-year-old man at a Sikh sports festival five years ago.

Gosal, 28, is facing a possible sentence of 35 years to life in prison for the Aug. 31, 2008, killing of Parmjit Pamma Singh outside the Bradshaw Temple near Bradshaw and Gerber roads.

"I think the jury did a good job," said Deputy District Attorney Anthony Ortiz, who had asked the panel for a first-degree conviction on Gosal under an aiding and abetting theory. "The case had some major issues and they worked through them, and I think they came to a just verdict."

Defense attorney David W. Dratman declined to comment.

Jurors found that Gosal fired a weapon but did not hit anybody during a confrontation that broke out between a friend of his and the victim. Witnesses said it was the friend, identified as Amandeep Singh Dhami, who killed Singh as a result of a long-simmering dispute between the two.

Dhami fled with the help of some people who came to his assistance after the shooting, and he is believed to be living in India, authorities said.

Rick Fender, one of the members of the jury, said the panel was badly split at the beginning of its deliberations, with the votes ranging from first-degree murder to involuntary manslaughter.

"There was going to have to be some compromise in this case," Fender said.

Although an aider and abettor can be considered just as guilty as the shooter, Fender said "there was softness in people's judgment" of Gosal because he didn't actually shoot anybody.

"And time has passed," Fender said. "He looked like an upstanding young man, dressed for court and his family here. All of that kind of weighs on people."

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Greta Curtis Fall scheduled Gosal's sentencing for Aug. 9.

Call The Bee's Andy Furillo, (916) 321-1141. Follow him on Twitter @andyfurillo.

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