Anthony Kreiter-Rhodes is given a public defender.
In his first appearance in the court on Wednesday, Anthony Kreiter-Rhodes, suspect in the stabbing death of Sikh American Parmjit Singh, pleaded not-guilty.
The 21-year-old, dressed in orange jail jumpsuit with handcuffs around his hands, was given a public defender.
Singh was found lying with traumatic injuries near a sidewalk in Grtechen Talley Park on Sunday night.
Kreiter Rhodes was arrested by Tracy Police Department after its detectives provided evidence to the judge of San Joaquin County Superior Court. He was arrested on a warrant and his residence was also checked to seek additional evidence related to the murder.
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A surveillance camera footage, released days after the 64-year-old’s death, showed a man running near the park around the time when Singh was stabbed.
Up till now, no motive has been identified behind the death.
Members of the local Sikh community, who still remain puzzled over the unexplained murder, suspect a racial motive behind the murder.
Kreiter-Rhodes’ family friends, according to the local Sacramento CBS affiliate, describe him as a lively young man who played football and was a math whiz. The picture painted of him is diametrically opposite of the charges he currently faces.
Singh’s death triggered a debate once more in the country about racism taking innocent lives. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders condemned the attack on his Facebook page. “Another horrifying attack on a member of the Sikh community in Northern California,” Sanders wrote. “We are thinking of the family and friends of Parmjit Singh and will honor his memory by fighting white supremacy and racism wherever we find it.”
Meanwhile, there are also reports that Singh’s family has also urged the authorities to rename the Grtechen Talley Park to Parmjit Singh Memorial Park in his memory.