Murder-for-hire suspect sentenced, could be released

November 16, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
The man who hired a convicted criminal to kill a Fresno planning commissioner talked about his crime for the first time Friday, on the day a judge handed down his punishment.

44-year-old Daljit Singh Multani is now a convicted felon, but it's possible he'll also be a free man soon.

Multani got a three-year sentence, but he's already racked up more than three years of time credits while in the Fresno County jail, so there's just one snag keeping him in jail right now.

His victim told Action News he's not at all happy about it.

Multani stood up Friday and admitted he once hatched a plan to kill his onetime business partner, Rama Dawar.

"I'm a human being," Multani said. "I make a mistake, you know, and I realize that."

Dawar sued Multani two years ago over an investment he made in the limousine business that was connected to Multani's towing business.

Multani admitted Friday the lawsuit upset him and he soon had conversations with an employee about having Dawar killed.

That employee was Joe Yzaguirre, a convicted criminal who became a protected police informant, wearing a wire to build the case against Multani.

Now that a jury found him guilty, Multani told a judge he made a bad decision, but only when Yzaguirre pressured him.

He also apologized to Dawar.

"I'd like to say, to the victim first of all, I'm sorry," Multani said. "I was not trying to do anything bad. I was stupid enough to talk about it. [Dawar] was my good friend."

Dawar tells Action News that friendship is the one thing Multani did manage to kill.

And he's disappointed the punishment was only a three-year sentence.

It could've been up to nine, and Dawar asked for the longest sentence in a letter to Judge Kent Hamlin, calling it a life-changing incident for himself and his family ? one he has yet to recover from.

Multani has already served enough jail time to get out, but for now, there's still an immigration hold keeping him from moving on with his life.

"He's going to have to deal with immigration at this point in time, but what he'd like to do is get out and get back to work and try to rebuild his business," said his defense attorney Tony Capozzi.

Multani is supposed to have an immigration hearing soon, which could possibly end in his release or deportation.

Both Dawar and Joe Yzaguirre told Action News Friday they will have concerns for their safety if Multani gets out of jail.


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