Murder-for-hire suspect will go to trial

Daljit Singh

FRESNO – The Fresno man accused of plotting his former business partner’s death will stand trial in the murder-for-hire plot.

On Monday, a Fresno Superior Court judge ruled that there was enough evidence for Daljit Singh, 42, to stand trial on solicitation of murder and possession of a stolen gun.

Judge Wayne Ellison made his ruling after hearing two days of testimony as well as police recordings of meetings held between Singh and the man he allegedly hired to set up the murder. In the recordings, Singh talked to police informant Joe Luis Yzaguirre Jr. about hiring a hit man to kill 43-year-old Rama Kant Dawar.

Singh and Dawar, a Fresno City planning commissioner, were once business partners, but they had a falling out. There was a lawsuit in which Dawar won and was awarded an unspecified dollar amount. Police believe that may have been the motive behind Singh’s actions.

In one of the recorded conversations between Singh and Yzaguirre, Singh offers cash to hire a hit man to kill Dawar. Outside of court, Singh’s attorney, Tony Capozzi, said that while that conversation did happen, it was all talk and his client didn’t want to go through with it.

“The last tape that was played, (Singh) kept saying, ‘I want to go to court. Don’t do anything. Wait,’” Capozzi said.

While there are several recordings of conversations between Singh and Yzaguirre, one key conversation was not recorded. Police said that Singh gave Yzaguirre a stolen gun to be used in the murder, but Yzaguirre apparently didn’t record that conversation.

During the two-day hearing, Yzaguirre testified that he actually gave a gun to Singh and never told police about it. Capozzi said that this kind of inconsistent testimony shows problems in the prosecution’s case.

Prosecutors for the case declined to comment after the hearing.

Singh will find out the date of his trial on July 12.


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