Husband and hitman receive life sentences in B.C. mother’s murder

Jeff Lagerquist, CTVNews.ca Writer

A B.C. father who arranged to have his wife stabbed to death inside their family home has been convicted of first-degree murder alongside the man he hired to carry out the grisly attack.

Amanpreet Bahia was found face down in a pool of blood on her kitchen floor, with stab wounds to her back and neck in February 2007.

Her husband Baljinder Singh Bahia and Eduard Baranec were sentenced to life in prison with no opportunity for parole for 25 years.

“I’ve never seen a slashing of a woman as brutal as this, myself, in 50 years of practice,” defence lawyer Russ Chamberlain told CTV Vancouver.

Two of Amanpreet’s daughters, ages one and three at the time, were left alone for hours in the Cloverdale, B.C. home before Bahia’s in-laws discovered her body in the kitchen. Amanpreet’s youngest was found crying next to her mother’s body.

The court heard that Baljinder orchestrated his wife’s murder and hired Baranec to carry it out.

A third person, Tanpreet Athwal, is also charged with first degree murder in the case, but has not gone to trial. Athwal is said to have been intimately involved with Baljinder at the time of his wife’s murder.

Amanpreet’s death remained a mystery for years before her husband and the two co-accused were arrested in 2011.

For years, the RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team worked the case alongside the provincial unsolved homicide unit. Saskatchewan’s RCMP Major Crime Historical Case Unit provided investigators with new information in December 2010 that led to the three suspects’ arrest.

Amanpreet’s relatives say while the dual verdicts provide some closure in the nearly decade-long tragedy, they will never fully recover from the loss to their family.

“(It will) never get better. When we are thinking about the kids, I have kids too,” said Amanpreet’s sister-in-law Sandhu.

Amanpreet’s two youngest daughters are in the care of their paternal grandparents. Her oldest daughter is now in her first year of university. They have not seen their father since 2011, when all three suspects were arrested.

“We are satisfied that justice has been done. But we are not happy. We will never be happy,” said Amanpreet’s brother Jugraj Kahlon.

Baljinder plans to appeal his conviction.

Toronto shooting victim identified by father as Sukh Deo, former Vancouver gangster

Global News

 

The father of a man killed during a daylight shooting in a quiet Toronto neighbourhood has identified him as 35-year-old Sukh Deo, a reputed gangster from Vancouver’s Lower Mainland.

Toronto police have not yet identified Deo as the shooting victim but said a man was shot at close range through the driver’s side window of a luxury SUV in an alley on Cowbell Lane, near Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue, just before 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Parminder Singh Deo spoke to Global News by phone Wednesday and confirmed his son was fatally shot in Toronto Tuesday.

“We don’t have anything, we don’t know anything,” Deo said. “We just arrived here, so we don’t know anything yet.”

Sukh Deo made headlines in May when he was escorted out of his courtside seat at a Toronto Raptors playoff game for heckling referees.

Several members of the Deo family, including Sukh, were well-known to police in Metro Vancouver. His brother Harjit Singh Deo was convicted in 2007 for a 2005 kidnapping for ransom in which the victim was held inside the Deo family home in New Westminster.

Parminder Singh Deo is also wanted in an Interpol warrant from India with charges including narcotic drug smuggling, forgery, thefts, and criminal conspiracy.

In Toronto, police and nearby residents were shocked by the shooting.

“I was outside and we heard this loud, ‘Bang! Bang! Bang!’” said Jessie Leamon, who works in the area. “That’s where everyone in the office walks through so it’s scary.”

Two male suspects considered armed and dangerous were allegedly seen fleeing the area in a black car, with one spotted wearing a green construction vest and the other an orange construction vest.

“We will find out who you are and you will be arrested,” 53 Division Unit Commander Supt. Reuben Stroble said of the suspects. “Get a lawyer, turn yourself in.”

Investigators are speaking to witnesses and looking at surveillance footage in the area in an attempt to identify the suspects.

With files from Caryn Lieberman and John Daly

http://www.interpol.int/notice/search/wanted/2015-34489

‘There was blood everywhere’: Barrhaven girl tells of finding dead mother

By GARY DIMMOCK, OTTAWA CITIZEN

She was the last to see her mother alive, and the first to find her dead.

The girl had stayed home from school that day — Jan. 29, 2014 — to look after her mom as she recovered from surgery. The girl didn’t want to run errands with her father but he convinced her, and they went to the grocery store and bought roses and cake for her mom. It was their wedding anniversary.

When they returned from the grocery store, it was the girl, roses in her hand, who found her mom dead on the floor. Jagtar Gill was slashed and bludgeoned to death in the family room of her Barrhaven home.

The horrifying discovery was recounted by Gill’s daughter for police in a 2014 interview. A video of the interview was shown in court at her father’s first-degree murder trial. Bhupinderpal Gill and his mistress, Gurpreet Ronald, are on trial for killing his 43-year-old wife. The accused killers — both OC Transpo drivers — watched in silence as the girl recounted that awful afternoon.

She walked in the door (unlocked), kicked off her shoes and later “froze” at the sight of her dead mom.

“There was blood everywhere. I started yelling for my dad,” the girl told police in the 2014 interview.

She started crying, started breathing heavy, she said. She was too scared to check for a pulse, but it was clear from her severe wounds — including a slit throat — that she was dead.

“My dad’s panicking,” she recalled. “He was just yelling in a worried tone about nothing … I kept hearing about suicide but she would never do that. She was happy,” the girl told police in the videotaped interview.

Her mother had in fact been killed, and worse, police said it was her father who conspired with his mistress to do it.

She said her father wondered aloud if it was a robbery.

The girl said she kept thinking: “Who would want to do this on my parents’ anniversary?”

The detective told the girl the police were going to do their best to find out.

Earlier that day, her mother was joking around that they’d be lost without her. If she died, she joked, nobody would know how to cut the pizza.

Her dad said they’d figure it out, the daughter said.

The jury has heard about key DNA evidence against the mistress, Gurpreet Ronald. Her DNA was all over the murder weapons and the bloody gloves. The police say when Gill came home with his daughter on the day of the killing, he went to the kitchen and started washing the bloody knives used to kill his wife.

The jury has heard that Gill also dumped one of the murder weapons outside, and that Ronald dumped the bloody gloves in a park, according to police.

Gill is expected to testify in his own defence at the trial before Ontario Superior Court Justice Julianne Parfett. The trial continues Thursday.

 

IHIT investigating suspicious death after body of 34-year-old missing man found

Metro Vancouver’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team is looking into the “suspicious death” of a man found dead in Lynn Creek over the weekend.

The body of Jastinder Athwal, 34, was recovered near the popular North Shore hiking trail on Sunday morning. Police confirmed his identity on Monday afternoon.

“The cause of death remains unknown and the potential of a homicide cannot be ruled out at this time,” said IHIT staff Sgt. Jennifer Pound in a written release.

She said an autopsy would be needed to determine the cause of death.

Investigators say family and friends last saw Athwal on May 19 in the Lynn Valley area. Police opened a missing person investigation and requested the public’s help in finding him.

Investigators are asking anyone with information about Athwal and his disappearance to call the IHIT Tipline at 1-877-551-4448 or, if Crime Stoppers if they prefer to remain anonymous.

CBC News

Neighbour’s DNA matched blood found in Gill home, murder trial hears

MEGHAN HURLEY, OTTAWA CITIZEN

Jagtar Gill, 43, was found dead in her home in January 2014. The Crown contends that her husband and his lover “hated” her and conspired to kill her.

DNA obtained from a bloody knife and blood found spattered throughout the Ottawa home of Jagtar Gill after she was stabbed and bludgeoned to death matched that of her neighbour Gurpreet Ronald, an Ottawa court heard Wednesday.

Ronald and Gill’s husband, Bhupinderpal Gill, are each charged with first-degree murder in Gill’s 2014 death.

The Crown alleges the co-accused, co-workers at OC Transpo, were in a longstanding affair and had conspired to kill Jagtar Gill.

Bhupinderpal Gill and Gurpreet Ronald

Bhupinderpal Gill, left, and Gurpreet Ronald, right, have been charged with first-degree murder and have pleaded not guilty. (CBC)

The two accused have both pleaded not guilty and are being tried together, but are being defended by different lawyers.

On Wednesday Ottawa police Const. Julie Dobler, a forensic identification expert, continued to take court through the evidence she and her team found in the Barrhaven home where Jagtar Gill’s lifeless body was discovered on Jan. 29, 2014.

Dobler said on Feb. 6, 2014, police turned over a number of blood-covered exhibits seized from the family room and from other parts of the Gill home to the Centre for Forensic Science in Toronto to obtain a DNA match.

Samples taken from victim, co-accused

Police surreptitiously obtained Gurpreet Ronald’s DNA from a white envelope, Dobler testified. Investigators obtained a DNA sample from Bhupinderpal Gill from a used tissue, also without his knowledge.

Jagtar Gill knife found

One of three blood-stained knives police say they found in the sink of the Gill home. (Ottawa Police Service)

The DNA analysis came back in March, showing the bloody, serrated knife found in the Gills’ kitchen sink, blood found on the baseboards, doors and carpet on the home’s second floor, and blood found in the master bedroom bathroom all matched Ronald’s DNA sample.

Blood found on a finger torn from the blue latex glove found next to Gill’s body also matched Ronald’s, Dobler testified. A box of similar-looking blue gloves was seized from a kitchen cupboard in the Gills’ kitchen.

Dobler said the analysis determined the chances of someone else sharing the same DNA profile as Ronald’s was one in one quadrillion (or one followed by 15 zeroes).

When police questioned Gurpreet Ronald several days after the killing about the bandage on her finger she said she’d cut it chopping vegetables.

Police placed camera in home

Bhupinderpal Gill

A still image from a police camera police set in the basement of the Gill home shows Bhupinderpal Gill checking on a weightlifting bar on Feb. 6, 2014, police testified. The bar was a replica placed by police after they found one with blood on it in a box in the basement. (Ottawa Police Service)

A day earlier, Dobler had walked the court through the evidence found in the home, including a metal weightlifting bar with blood on it found in a box in the basement.

Dobler said Wednesday she was “definitely surprised” to find the potential weapon stashed in a box in the basement.

That bar was seized by police and replaced with an exact replica, and police sought a warrant to install a video camera in the basement to see what would happen to it. Police covered the bar with sheep blood in place of the human blood.

Some time after the killing police followed Bhupinderpal Gill to Cedarview Road where they say he threw the replica bar into a wooded area, court heard.

Relatives of victim disturbed by photos of body

On Tuesday more than two dozen family and friends of Jagtar Gill watched the Crown go through graphic photos of the deceased, and some could be heard gasping in the courtroom at the disturbing images.

Jagtar Gill evidence

Ottawa police Const. Julie Dobler said they found this blood-stained weightlifting bar inside a box on top of a fake Christmas tree. Police replaced it with an exact replica. (Ottawa Police Service)

Jagtar Gill’s sister, Harjinder Sidhu cried and at times put clenched fists to her face as the Crown presented the grisly photos of Gill’s body. A young woman beside Singh held her hand.

Gill’s father, Ajit Singh Mann, broke down and left the courtroom as the photographs were shown.

Co-accused were lovers, conspired to kill, Crown contends

Crown prosecutor Jason Neubauer told Ontario Superior Court last week during opening statements that Ronald and Bhupinderpal Gill were lovers for a year and a half and that they conspired to kill Jagtar Gill, whom they both hated.

Phone records show the co-accused spoke for about 48 hours during hundreds of calls in the 28 days leading up to the killing and met each other repeatedly, Neubauer told court.

On the day she was killed, Neubauer said, Gill was at her “most vulnerable” following abdominal surgery the day before.

Her husband and daughter left the home that morning to buy anniversary presents, and that is when, the Crown alleges, Ronald entered the home and bludgeoned and stabbed a weakened Gill.

It was noted that wounds on Gill’s forearms and hands indicated she tried to defend herself from the attack.

On the day of the killing, phone records show the two accused spoke four times and met at a nearby grocery store after Gill was dead, where they spoke briefly and left in separate vehicles.

Indo-Canadian woman booked for husband’s murder, paid Rs 2.7 lakh to contract killer

More than two months after the body of an NRI, who was into property dealing in the district, was found in Sawara village in Kharar on March 16 with multiple stab wounds, the police have booked his wife Pawandeep Kaur (35) for murder and arrested four men who had planned the crime, including the contract killer.

Police claim that Pawandeep, a mother of two staying in Toronto, had an estranged relationship with her husband, Jaskaran Singh (38) and also wanted to grab his property.

The victim Jaskaran Singh and mastermind Pawandeep Kaur. (HT Photo)

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, SAS Nagar

Police also claim she was also having an affair with two of the men involved in the murder. She had paid Rs 2.75 lakh to the killers and had promised another Rs 25 lakh.

The accused have been identified as Lakhbir Singh (32), the contract killer; Davinder Singh alias Prince (25), Bhawanpreet Bhangu (25) and Gurpreet Singh alias Soni (25). Davinder holds a bachelor’s degree in computer applications (BCA) and worked with the Nawanshahr district transport office, Bhawanpreet Bhangu from Ropar is also a BCA; Gurpreet is a BCA and is a bus conductor at Ropar.

Killer posed as property buyer

On the day of the murder, contract killer Lakhbir approached Jaskaran as a property buyer and the duo decided to go take a round. At a vacant plot near the Government Middle School, Jaskaran was stabbed repeatedly with a knife and the body was dumped in the fields. His body was later spotted around 4am by a woman passerby.

“Pawandeep conspired to kill Jaskaran as they had an estranged relationship and she also wanted his property. The couple jointly owns a house in Toronto where she is presently living,” said SAS Nagar senior superintendent of police (SSP) Gurpreet Singh Bhullar.

He added that Pawandeep was having an affair with Gurpreet Singh alias Soni since 2013 and later also developed intimate relations with Bhangu, who introduced her to contract killer Lakhbir Singh.

Money transfer, the major clue

Bhullar added that since the murder appeared to be the work of a professional, from Day 1, the police did suspect the hand of a family member in crime and had been monitoring Pawandeep.

“Pawandeep transferred Rs 2 lakh to Bhangu through Western Union that alerted us. Another Rs 75,000 was sent directly to the account of contract killer Lakhbir,” the SPP added.

Killer fled to Delhi

After the brutal murder, Lakhbir fled from the district to Delhi in the victim’s Swift Dzire that has been recovered from his possession. He had fitted a fake registration plate and kept on using the car.

Mastermind wife did attend cremation

In a brazen show of overconfidence, Pawandeep, along with her children, had even visited the Swara village to attend the last rites of Jaskaran. Even as the police investigation is on, she had returned to Canada on the plea that her children had their exams. In fact, the unsuspecting father of Jaskaran had requested the police to allow her to leave. “We did suspect her, but did not have evidence to nail her. She was thus allowed to leave. We will approach the Canadian embassy for her arrest,” the SSP added.

Murder convict on parole is the killer

Lakhbir is a double murder convict serving life term and came out on parole in 2012 from the Patiala Jail. He is a proclaimed offender and figures as accused in four other cases.

Police seek help with unsolved Surrey homicide

Police are seeking information and witnesses in relation to the homicide of a man found dead in a car three years ago .

Vimal Chand, 29, was discovered on Feb. 20, 2013 in the family vehicle near Hyland Elementary School at 66 Avenue and 140 Street.

On Friday, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT), with the help of Chand’s sister, released a video to remind the public of this homicide and to locate witnesses who have not been spoken to.

It can be viewed on the IHIT website at  www.homicideteam.ca

Chand had a criminal record, including a conviction for assault with a weapon. But his sister told CBC News he was a family man who hadn’t been leading a high-risk lifestyle.

Anyone with information about the homicide of Vimal Chand, or any other investigation can contact IHIT by telephone at 1-877-551-IHIT(4448)  or by email at ihitinfo@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

If you wish to remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or on the web atsolvecrime.ca

By Surrey North Delta Leader

Man charged in death of his 19-year-old cousin in northern Alberta

RCMP investigators have charged 25-year-old Parminder Sakhon with second degree murder following the death of his 19-year-old cousin.

Pardeep Sihu was found dead on New Year’s Day following a report of a shooting five kilometres north of Rochester.

Athabasca RCMP officers arrived at the property around 10:20 p.m. on Friday and arrested one man.

Sakhon is scheduled to make his first court appearance Tuesday morning.

Police have not said how the man died and an autopsy is scheduled for Monday.

Rochester is about 100 kilometres north of Edmonton.

By Kim Smith CTV

 

Accused Ryan Amit Singh Parmar in gun case entitled to police evidence linking him to murder

Ryan Amit Singh Parmar was identified as suspect in 2013 Surrey homicide

BY KIM BOLAN, VANCOUVER SUN

A Metro Vancouver man charged with possessing a loaded firearm has a right to see other police files alleging his involvement in a 2013 gang murder, a B.C. Supreme Court judge has ruled.

Justice Arne Silverman said Thursday that Ryan Amit Singh Parmar needs the additional disclosure by police to fully defend himself on a series of firearms charges.

The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit got a court order to search Parmar’s car for a tracking device on May 1, 2013. At the time, the anti-gang agency believed he was the target of a murder conspiracy.

Officers didn’t find the device, but did locate a secret compartment containing a loaded gun.

At the same time, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team had a separate investigation into the February 2013 murder in Surrey of Vimal Chand and had identified Parmar as a suspect. Parmar has not been charged in the Chand murder.

Parmar’s lawyer Rebecca McConchie is questioning the validity of the search warrant for the car, arguing it could have related more to the Chand investigation than protecting her client from a murder plot.

She argued she needed more information about the murder investigation in order to properly cross-examine the officer who found the gun.

And she said she needed to know when the special enforcement unit designated Parmar “a provincial tactical enforcement priority.”

Court heard about a Sept. 2013 letter written by an inspector “stating that the applicant is well known to police in the Lower Mainland and is currently embroiled in a gang conflict which has claimed several lives in the last two years in a series of high-profile public shootings.

“As such, Parmar has been identified as a provincial tactical enforcement priority,” the letter said.

Crown prosecutor Mike Huot argued that the additional disclosure being sought by Parmar was irrelevant to the issues raised about the search warrant.

And he said that CFSEU and IHIT are separate police entities, so the homicide squad should not be obligated to disclose its evidence in a case that is not before the courts.

Silverman agreed with the defence that Parmar was entitled to more disclosure.

“I am also satisfied that the two separate teams — IHIT and CFSEU — while distinct for various purposes, there is not a real distinction for disclosure purposes,” Silverman said. “They are both police forces. Fairness at trial issues prevail.”

Silverman ordered disclosure “of the police file on the Chand homicide and information on when the CFSEU designated the applicant a provincial tactical enforcement priority.”

However, he did not grant a more sweeping request for all police information about Parmar over several years, saying it amounted to a “fishing expedition.”

His judge-alone trial on the firearms charges is set to begin Nov. 16.

Sarbjit Bains sentenced to 18 years without parole eligibility for three slayings

By Jennifer Saltman, The Province

A Surrey man who choked three people to death has been sentenced to life in prison with no parole for 18 years.
Sarbjit Bains, 33, pleaded guilty in April to manslaughter in the death of 29-year-old Amritpal Saran, and two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Jill Lyons, 45, and Karen Nabors, 48. They were killed in on Feb. 23, Aug. 9 and Aug. 25, 2013.
He was sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster on Wednesday morning.
According to an agreed statement of facts read at Bains’s sentencing hearing, on Feb. 23, 2013, Bains and his common-law partner Evelina Urbaniak called Saran to bring drugs to their Surrey apartment. That afternoon, the three drank and did cocaine together, something they had done before on a number of occasions.
Urbaniak went to bed in the evening, and the two men continued to drink and do drugs. Bains went to the bathroom at one point and when he returned he found Saran naked and about to get into bed with Urbaniak.
Bains put Saran in a choke hold and dragged him out of the room. He believed he used too much force and killed Saran.
Bains and Urbaniak put Saran’s body into a large plastic container, taped a second container over top and put him in Urbaniak’s car. They dumped Saran’s body on Colebrook Road and Bains set it on fire with gasoline.
Saran’s remains were found the next day by a woman and her grandson who were driving in the area.
Six months later Bains contacted Lyons and Nabors, who advertised online as escorts, two weeks apart. He arranged to meet them at their apartments, which were in the same building in New Westminster, intending to rob them.
He arrived at their apartments and tried to intimidate them. When they screamed, he put them in choke holds until they stopped, kicked them and then searched their apartments for valuables. He stole credit and debit cards, cash and cellphones before leaving.
Crown and defence made a joint submission at Bains’s sentencing hearing for life sentences with no chance of parole for 18 years for the two murders, and a 10-year prison sentence for the manslaughter charge. They asked that all sentences run concurrently.
According to court records, Justice Miriam Maisonville acceded to the joint submission.
In February, Urbaniak received a conditional sentence of two years less a day plus three years of probation for her role in disposing of Saran’s remains.