Update: Frank Roque Pleads Guilty to Shooting Death of Balbir Singh Sodhi

June 29, 2003

Source: The Arizona Republic


On June 29, 2003 The Arizona Republic reported that "four days after the World Trade Center terrorist attacks, a gunman retaliated by shooting Balbir, 49, to death outside his Mesa gas station... Valley Sikhs are hoping for justice, along with more understanding of their religion and culture, when jury selection begins July 21 in the death penalty trial of Frank Roque, 43. Prosecutors portray Roque as a racist out of control, while the defense casts him as a schizophrenic pushed over the edge by the terrorist attacks... The U.S. Justice Department rejected Harjit's application to have Balbir designated a victim of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks... Because their religion condemns vengeance, Valley Sikhs say they don't care if Roque is executed, but they long for his conviction as a statement that killing an innocent man out of hate will not be tolerated."