Trial begins for two men accused of killing clerk at the Tackle Box gas station in Madera County

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Two men suspected of killing a clerk at the tackle box gas station in Madera County last year were in court for their preliminary hearing Wednesday. (KFSN)

One by one over ten Witnesses were called to testify Wednesday in day one of the preliminary hearing for the killing of a store clerk at the tackle box gas station in Madera County. One by one over ten Witnesses were called to testify Wednesday in day one of the preliminary hearing for the killing of a store clerk at the tackle box gas station in Madera County.

Prosecutors say in November of 2017 cousins Amritaj Singh Athwal, and Savirant Singh Athwal stole cash and at least 60 cartons of cigarettes before firing several rounds. One of those shots hit the employee and killed him.

When prosecutors asked store owner Parmjit Singh Najjar how much money was stolen, he replied, "I don't remember exactly, but it was approximately $700 to $800."

Amritaj Singh Athwal was arrested a short time later after his Toyota Tacoma went off the road near Kerman.

Fresno County Sheriff's Deputies believed he was under the influence and found two guns in the pickup a .22 rifle and a snub nose .38 revolver.

Savirant Singh Athwal was arrested a few weeks later in a routine traffic stop.

The gas station owner testified Wednesday that Savirant Singh Athwal was a former employee at the Tackle Box gas station and was familiar with the store's layout and inner workings, "I believe he worked for me for a month and a half or maybe two months." The owner also testified that he knew how to use the store's safe.

This preliminary hearing is expected to wrap up on Thursday or Friday.
Related Topics:
homicidegas stationshootingmadera countyfresno county sheriff departmentMadera County
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