Suspect in Tackle Box murder case in Madera pleads not guilty

MADERA COUNTY, California - One of the two men suspected of killing a store clerk in Madera during a robbery pleaded not guilty on Tuesday.

Savirant Singh Athwal, 24, of Fresno, was arrested Friday in connection to the killing of Dharahmapreet Jasser, 20, of Caruthers.

Savirant's cousin, Armitraj Singh Athwal, 21, of Modesto, is the other suspect in the Nov. 14 killing.

Jassar was shot and killed by masked robbers at The Tackle Box just before 11 p.m., according to investigators.

“Dharampreet was a completely innocent victim, just doing his job, when he was senselessly killed during this robbery,” Madera Sheriff Jay Varney said.

A 76 gas station employee who worked across the street said he knew Jassar as a hard working young man who moved to the U.S. from India for a better education -- studying at Fresno State.

"He had been working for three months or maybe four months ago. He gave me a ride from here to Fresno," Gaurav Taak said.

A GoFundMe page was setup for Dharampreet Jassar was setup and has raised more than $23,000 so far.

No other information on Tuesday's plea was immediately available. 

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