On April 13th, 2022

South Lake Tahoe Store Clerk Killer Sentenced to Life in Prison California DOJ Criminalist Deanna Hayden assisted with DNA evidence

“A citizen’s tip and work conducted by investigators and a California DOJ criminalist led to the suspect’s arrest,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona.   “It takes citizen involvement and investigative teamwork to solve cold cases such as this one and everyone had a valuable role.”

EL DORADO COUNTY – On April 13, 2022, Sean Thomas Donohoe was sentenced to 50 years to life for the cold-blooded killing of store clerk Manpreet Singh on August 6, 2013.

On March 1, 2022, more than eight years after Singh was gunned down, a jury convicted Donohoe of first-degree murder.  Singh was working as a gas station clerk in South Lake Tahoe when he was gunned down.

Singh’s family was not able to travel to California from India to face their son's killer. However, they provided a powerful impact statement. Singh immigrated to the United States for a better life for himself and his family and, at 27, his life was taken.

On the evening of the murder, Donohoe dressed in all black, including a black mask later recovered close to the scene, walked inside the US Gas Station in South Lake Tahoe. Singh had refused to sell alcohol to Donohoe’s drunk friend just minutes earlier. Once inside, Donohoe shot Singh one time. The bullet penetrated both of Singh’s lungs and his heart, killing him moments later. Donohoe calmly left the scene.

The case went cold until 2020 when a tip was received after someone reviewed the El Dorado County Cold Case video that was created in hope that justice could be achieved for Singh and his family. Shortly thereafter, DNA, that was located on the mask, confirmed that Donohoe was the killer.

The case was investigated by the

  • South Lake Tahoe Police Department
  • El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office
  • FBI
  • California Department of Justice

In announcing the guilty verdict in March, the El Dorado County District Attorney Pierson praised California DOJ Criminalist and California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) member Deanna Hayden for her work.


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