Man Faces First-Degree Murder Charge after Victim Found Shot in the Head in Live Oak Orchard

Jesus Esteban Perez, 39, and Shannon Marie Johnson, 38 (Credit: Sutter County Sheriff’s Office)

SUTTER COUNTY — A Gridley man was arrested Friday and charged with first-degree murder after a victim was found dead in a walnut orchard in Live Oak.

The Sutter County Sheriff’s Office reports Jesus Perez, 39, was already in the Sutter County Jail for a parole violation when he was charged with the murder of 61-year-old Paramjit Singh Randhawa.

On May 25, two Sutter County sheriff’s deputies were called to Meyers Road. Caller Shannon Johnson told officials she saw a man down in a walnut orchard, as well as a blue vehicle in the area. At the time, the sheriff’s office says Johnson claimed she did not know if the vehicle was involved in the incident.

One deputy found Randhawa, who had been shot in the head and left in the orchard, according to investigators.

The sheriff’s office says the other deputy found the blue Honda with Perez behind the wheel. Perez crashed the Honda following a short pursuit and was arrested for charges unrelated to the homicide case. A shotgun was found near the car.

On Friday around 1 p.m., Sutter County detectives arrested Perez.

Investigators later learned Johnson had withheld information and lied about the investigation. She has been arrested and charged on suspicion of accessory after the fact.

Both suspects will be in court on July 23.

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