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Modesto man to serve 15 years-to-life in state prison for 2013 Turlock murder
pardeep singh
Pardeep Singh

The final defendant standing accused of gunning down a Turlock man in 2013 entered into a plea deal convicting him of second-degree murder.

The deal between Pardeep Singh, 29, of Modesto and the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office was reached the day before his jury trial was set to begin.

Singh had been charged with first-degree murder with special circumstances for the murder of Amritpal Singh Sandhu, 21, of Turlock on Nov. 5, 2013. Singh was facing life in prison without the possibility of parole, if he had been convicted at trial.

Singh’s co-defendants, Cole Nathaniel Millington, 31, of Turlock and Kultar Singh Dhatt, 30, of Turlock, both previously took plea deals of voluntary manslaughter for their roles in Sandhu’s murder.

The prosecution said the three men killed Sandhu because Singh had heard rumors Sandhu was talking about his family in a “disrespectful way.”

On Nov. 5, 2013, Singh and Dhatt drove to Sandhu’s house in Turlock and waited for him to leave.

Sandhu came out of his house, got into his vehicle and drove away. Unbeknownst to him, Singh and Dhatt were following behind.

Just before 1:30 a.m., Sandhu made a 911 call stating that he was being shot at as he drove southbound on Highway 99, near Taylor Road.

According to the district attorney’s office, it was Dhatt who had been shooting at Sandhu, but that at the time of the 911 call, Sandhu had not been harmed.

Sandhu started following the car with the shooter, driven by Singh. Singh led Sandhu off the freeway and into a residential neighborhood.

Dhatt called his roommate, Millington, and told Millington to stand on the corner near their apartment in the vicinity of E. Canal Drive, so he could shoot at the victim when they drove by.

As Singh stopped at a stop sign, Millington walked up to Sandhu’s vehicle and fired multiple rounds from a .40 caliber pistol, killing him.

It was mere minutes between when Sandhu made the 911 call from the freeway and when the Turlock Police Department Dispatch started getting other calls about shots fired in the area of E. Canal Drive and E. Main Street.

The first officers at the scene found an Acura Infiniti that had run up on the curb in front of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church at E. Main Street and N. Minaret Avenue.

Sandhu was found behind the driver’s wheel with three gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Two days prior to this, Singh had fired shots at a friend of Sandhu’s, Gurinderjit Singh Samra.

Singh and Dhatt were arrested early in the investigation and Millington was arrested sometime later.

Millington was the first to take a plea deal, agreeing to plead guilty before trial to voluntary manslaughter. He received a sentence of 16 years in state prison. Dhatt also pled to voluntary manslaughter and received a 21-year sentence.

Singh was charged with murder in the first degree with two special circumstances – lying in wait and shooting from a motor vehicle and with assault with a deadly weapon for the shooting two days before the killing.

On March 21, the day the jury trial was to begin, Singh pled no contest to the charge of second-degree murder.

On April 15, he was sentenced to serve 15 years-to-life in state prison by Judge Dawna Reeves.