Sutter County Superior Court Judge David Ashby agreed to push the sentencing of a Gridley man found guilty of first-degree murder until after the new year, at the request of defense attorney Roberto Marquez. 

Jesus Perez, 39, faces possible life in prison after a jury found him guilty of murdering Paramjit Singh Randhawa, 61, of Yuba City in May. A Sutter County jury found Perez guilty on Oct. 31 and his sentencing had been scheduled for Monday morning.

Perez appeared in court Monday with Marquez who told the court that his client wanted to push the sentencing back to give the defense time to decide if it wants to file for a retrial of the case. Marquez said he would be looking at evidence that was submitted during the trial from the defense that was limited by the court and decide whether it warrants a “reversible error.”

“We look at everything,” Marquez said. 

The sentencing was rescheduled for Jan. 13, when the trial judge, Susan Green, will be presiding. On that date, Marquez said he would file the motion for a retrial if he finds enough evidence in the intervening time to warrant a motion.

If the judge denies the motion, Marquez said it will still be on the record for an appellate judge to review as he plans to appeal the verdict should he not file the motion or the motion is denied. 

Ashby agreed to continuing the sentencing, citing the gravity of the sentence Perez faces should his guilty verdict stand. 

On May 25, Randhawa’s body was found in an orchard on Myers Road with a gunshot wound to the head. The jury found that Perez committed the act willfully and with pre-meditation. Perez was also found guilty of four other felony counts including fleeing and evading police in a vehicle causing damage to property, being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and resisting an officer. 

Sutter County Deputy District Attorney Diego Heimlich said he spoke to members of the victim’s family who were “disappointed” that a speedy sentencing would not be taking place. Members of Randhawa’s family were not present in the courtroom Monday.

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