A Sikh truck driver, who was fatally wounded after being shot at two weeks ago in Ohio, has succumbed to his injuries, with prosecutors saying they will seek a murder charge against the 20-year-old accused in the case.
Jaspreet Singh, 32, of Monroe, Ohio died of injuries he sustained when he was shot at by Broderick Malik Jones Roberts on the night of 12 May, a report in the Journal News said.
Following the incident, Roberts had been indicted for aggravated robbery, felonious assault and possessing weapons under disability for allegedly firing at Singh.
Since Singh died of his injuries, prosecutors said they will now seek a murder indictment against the accused.
According to a Hamilton Police report, the victim suffered a gunshot wound to the upper torso. Singh died on 21 May, said Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser.
As per court documents, Roberts allegedly shot Singh “while he sat in his vehicle”.
The police report added that Roberts’ attorney David Washington entered a not guilty plea on his client’s behalf but acknowledged a murder indictment is expected next week.
A native of India, Singh had been living in the US for about eight years.
Advocacy group The Sikh Coalition said no immediate evidence has been released to suggest that any bias was involved in the tragic accident.
The group’s legal team has been in contact with relevant authorities in Cincinnati and continues to monitor the case. “Our prayers remain with his family during this very difficult time,” it said in a Facebook post.
Judge Jennifer McElfresh has set a bond of USD 1 million, substantially increasing it from the initial amount of $1,25,000 in Hamilton Municipal Court. Roberts is scheduled to be back in court on May 31.
Manjinder Singh, a friend of Singh, said the victim was a devoted father and husband, leaving behind four young children.
“He was very well known and well liked in the Sikh community,” Manjinder said, noting that his friend helped manage area stores but was recently employed as a truck driver.
He was an active at the Guru Nanak Society in the area, he said.
“It is just senseless,” said Manjinder Singh, adding that “there is no way he would have engaged in any type of wrong activity. He would have just walked away”.
Roberts has a criminal history and was sent to prison in 2016 after pleading guilty to trespass, unlawful restraint and assault, according to Butler County court records.