2 men sentenced to life in prison for 2017 murder of Madera County gas station clerk

The victim, a full-time student at Fresno State, was working 7 days a week to support himself and pay for his education.
MADERA COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Cousins Savirant Singh Athwal and Amritaj Singh Athwal were handed down their sentences Wednesday.

Prosecutors say the two robbed The Tackle Box in Madera County in November of 2017.

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They stole cash and cartons of cigarettes before shooting and killing the cashier, Dharampreet Jassar, who had his hands up and was complying with their demands.

Jassar's parents flew in from India to be at the sentencing, speaking through an interpreter.

"I educated my child and sent him to America so he could make something of himself," Jassar's father said.

Jassar was doing just that when he was killed.

He was a full-time student at Fresno State and studying criminal justice.

He was working seven days a week at The Tackle Box to support himself and pay for his education.

The prosecutor handed out a picture of Jassar before the sentencing, a request from his parents, so that Jassar would be remembered for the person he was, not how he was murdered.

RELATED: Video shown in court shows moment fatal shot was fired at Tackle Box gas station in Madera County

His parents asked the judge to impose the maximum sentence.

The defendants read statements to Jassar's family.

Both taking responsibility for their actions and apologizing.

"Today I look back, in retrospect, and I would do anything to take it back," said Amritaj Singh Athwal.

The judge sentenced both men to life in prison, without the possibility of parole.

Madera County District Attorney Sally Moreno said it was gratifying to have a sentence handed down for the victim and his family.

"This was an amazing young man. He had a bright future and everybody should know that the community, here in Madera, and the valley is diminished by his loss," Moreno said.

This sentence is what the district attorney's office was hoping for, life without the possibility of parole. Moreno says she hopes it gives the family a sense of justice.

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