A Gridley man faces a possible sentence of life in prison after he was found guilty on all five counts related to the murder of a Yuba City man in May.
A Sutter County Superior Court jury Thursday found Jesus E. Perez, 39, guilty of the murder of Paramjit Singh Randhawa, 61, and found that Perez committed the act willfully and with pre-meditation.
“We knew he was guilty and we’re just glad that we got justice,” said Gurdeep Thiara, Randhawa’s daughter.
She thanked Sutter County Deputy District Attorney Diego Heimlich, law enforcement, the investigators and “everyone who supported us through this time.”
Perez was also found guilty on four other felony counts including fleeing and evading police in a vehicle causing damage to property, being a felon in possession of a firearm – a shotgun – and ammunition and resisting an officer.
“This is definitely what we were hoping would happen and in my opinion law enforcement, the detectives, the deputies that worked on the case did an amazing job at investigating the case and really excluding any other potential suspects,” Heimlich said.
On May 25, Randhawa’s body was found in an almond orchard in the 11000 block of Myers Road with a gunshot wound to the head. Members of Randhawa’s family in the courtroom Thursday were visibly upset and brought to tears as the court clerk read out the jury’s verdict.
“The only evidence that there was in the case proved that the defendant was guilty, so I think that the jury did their job,” Heimlich said. “They followed the law and they came to the right verdict in the case.”
Defense attorney Roberto Marquez asked that the jury be polled as a group and individually to confirm that the verdict read out for the charge of first degree murder was correct. The clerk asked each of the 12 jurors if the ruling was correct and each confirmed yes.
Heimlich said prosecutors will be asking for the maximum sentence which adds up to approximately 55 years to life in prison. He said the judge can strike firearm enhancements added to two of the five counts which would lower the sentence, but given the circumstances of the case he said that is unlikely.
Perez’s sentencing will be Dec. 2 at 9 a.m.
Randhawa had previously been reported as a Live Oak resident; his daughter said he was from Yuba City.