Witness describes deadly shooting at Kingsburg Shell station

November 2, 2012 12:05:52 AM PDT
For the first time, a longtime customer is talking about the night he says he saw a clerk murder his boss at the Kingsburg shell station.

The murder trial started Thursday against Maninder "Manny" Kaila for that April 2010 shooting.

The customer says he walked into the store a little before 6 a.m., like he often did. But what he saw on this visit was a violent scene that scared him so much, he ran all the way home, leaving his car behind.

Manny Kaila left the scene of his boss' murder just a few hours later in handcuffs. One reason detectives made the arrest so quickly was the information they got from Ralph Keeling, who identified manny as the shooter.

"I'm 100% positive [it was him,]" Keeling said in court Thursday.

Keeling was a frequent customer at the shell station and he knew the suspect by name. He also knew the clerk, Parmajit "Paul" Singh, but he was too frightened for his own safety to try and help Paul.

"When I saw the gun, he shot and I stepped back and I yelled, 'You shot,'" Keeling said. "And at that time, he racked the gun again and leaned forward toward the counter and I ran out behind him, out the door."

Keeling left the scene of the shooting so quickly and in so much fear, he abandoned his car in the convenience store parking lot and ran home on foot.

While his eyewitness information gave investigators direction, his testimony on the witness stand threw something of a wrench into the case.

When prosecutor Lynmarc Jenkins showed him the shotgun seized from Kaila's home, Keeling said it wasn't the one he saw used in the murder.

Despite the gun confusion, the prosecution could finish its case Friday.

Kaila's defense is that he says he wasn't even there.


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