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Prosecutors issue 1st degree murder charges, won’t rule out death penalty, in slaying of kidnapped California trucking family


Officials in Merced County, California, have officially filed charges against a former truck driver accused of the brutal slaying of a family kidnapped at gunpoint from the offices of their trucking company.

On Monday, October 10, the Merced County District Attorney announced that four charges of First Degree Murder with Special Circumstances have been filed against Jesus Manuel Salgado, 48. Salgado was also charged with Arson and Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person.

The Special Circumstances stipulation was added due to the fact that multiple homicides were committed and kidnapping was involved.

The District Attorney’s Office said that Salgado currently faces life in prison without parole, but the agency reserves the right to pursue the death penalty in the future.

The investigation began on October 3 when police found a pickup truck owned by Amandeep Singh on fire in the town of Winton, California.

Jasdeep Singh, 36; his wife, Jasleen Kaur, 27; their 8-month-old daughter, Aroohi Dheri; and Singh’s brother, Amandeep Singh, 39, were kidnapped at gunpoint from the family business office of Unison Trucking on on Monday, October 3. All four people were found dead in a rural area in Dos Palos on Wednesday, October 5.

Salgado attempted suicide on October 4 and was hospitalized for two days before being booked into jail.

Salgado’s brother Alberto Salgado has also been arrested on charges of criminal conspiracy, accessory to a crime, and destroying evidence.

Salgado was reportedly employed at one time as a truck driver for Unison Trucking and allegedly held a grudge against the family due to a dispute over money.

Merced County Sheriff Vernon Warnke has called the crime “pure evil” and has recommended the death penalty for Salgado.


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