Khalsa was moved from the San Joaquin County Jail, where he has been living since his arrest in April, 2007. He was sentenced Dec. 17 to life without the possibility of parole by San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Charlotte Orcutt.
A jury this April found Khalsa guilty of first degree murder, as well as lying in wait and ambushing 23-yar-old Ajmer Hothi, the boyfriend of Khalsa’s daughter Kiranjot Pannu. Orcutt upheld the jury’s verdict, saying during sentencing that Khalsa clearly stalked Hothi.
Throughout the three-year story, Khalsa had unswervingly maintained his innocence. “The jury did God’s will. But this is not over. I believe in time I will be free,” Khalsa reportedly told his attorney, Daniel Horowitz after the verdict was read out.
Horowitz told India-West an appeal has been filed, and a retrial should occur within the next six to eight months, which he believes will acquit the 58-year-old Khalsa of all charges.
During the lengthy trial, prosecutors presented ample amounts of prejudicial evidence that should never have been allowed, asserted Horowitz.
“There was so much cultural emphasis in the face of sparse evidence,” which unduly influenced the jury against Khalsa, Horowitz said.
Khalsa, the owner of Pacific Coast Intermodal trucking company in French Camp, Calif., has also been slapped with a $15 million civil suit by Hothi’s family, who say they want to send a message that Khalsa must be held accountable.
Hothi, 23, of Lodi, Calif., was found dead Mar. 28, 2007 in the cab of his semi truck, which was riddled with bullet holes from a Beretta gun.
Khalsa, father of Kiranjot Pannu, then 17, who is believed to be Hothi’s girlfriend, was charged with capital murder a month later. Khalsa had registered a Beretta handgun with the Stockton Police Department some years before Hothi’s death.
Court papers revealed Hothi and Pannu began their romance in November, 2004. Khalsa, who owns Pacific Coast Intermodal, found out about the romance and forbade it. Shortly afterwards, Hothi was sent to India by his parents for an arranged marriage.
Khalsa heard rumors that Hothi had got Pannu pregnant and was forced to have an abortion. He travelled to the Indian village where Hothi had been married, and attempted to broker a divorce, so that Hothi could marry his daughter.
An unsuccessful Khalsa returned to the U.S. Shortly after, Hothi also inexplicably returned to the U.S., without his new wife.
Family members said Hothi had been stalked for months by members of Pannu’s family. Strange items, possibly witchcraft-related, were left on Hothi’s doorstep, prior to his death.
Pannu’s whereabouts are unclear, and she has not been charged in her ex-boyfriend’s death. A former attorney for her father told India-West in an earlier story that Pannu may have married a Canadian man.