Jagtar Gill murder trial wraps up
The verdict in the trial of the murder of Jagtar Gill is expected to be delivered sometime in the summer.
Ms. Gill’s husband, Bhupinderpal Gill, and his former lover, Gurpreet Ronald, are both charged with first degree murder in the Jan. 29, 2014 slaying of Ms. Gill. The 43-year-old woman was at home alone recovering from surgery when she was beaten and stabbed to death in the family room of her home.
Closing arguments in the trial wrapped up Monday. In 2016, a jury found Mr. Gill and Ms. Ronald guilty of first degree murder. Three years later, the Ontario Court of Appeal ordered a new trial for Gill and Ronald after determining that the verdict was tainted by a legal error made by the trial judge. The judge did not present the jury with an option to convict Gill of second degree murder. The court found that this error hindered Gill’s full defence, which was that Ronald acted alone in planning the murder of Jagtar Gill.
In December, 2019, it was determined by the Ontario Court of Appeal that the judge did not present the jury with an option to convict Gill of second degree murder. The court found that this error hindered Gill’s full defence, which was that Ronald acted alone in planning the murder of Jagtar Gill.
The court found that because of the omission, Gill and Ronald should be retried. The ruling nullified the 2016 convictions, and they were once again tried for first degree murder.
Crown attorney Jason Neubauer contends that Mr. Gill and Ms. Ronald had a plan to kill Ms. Gill, and that Ms. Ronald executed the plan when she knew Ms. Gill was alone at home.
During the trial, Neubauer said Mr. Gill “hated his wife” and “didn’t view divorce as an option.” He added that a consultant was hired by the two former OC Transpo employees in 2012 to see how they could be together because Mr. Gill “would do anything to get rid of his wife.”
The Crown alleged that the two lovers made the decision together to kill Ms. Gill, saying the pair spoke with each other more than 250 times in the 28 days before the murder, totalling than 48 hours of phone conversation.
When Ms. Gill was killed, Mr. Gill was out shopping with one of his children, making contact with Ms. Ronald during the two-hour outing. The court heard that they met in the former Sobey’s parking lot on Greenbank Road.
After returning home, Gill’s daughter, Dilpreet, was the one who found her mother’s deceased body. A call to 911 was made and Police arrived on scene less than five minutes later.
Mr. Gill admitted to picking up two knives covered in blood that were on the floor in his home, said the crown. He washed the blood off them and left the now clean knives in the kitchen sink. Mr. Gill also retrieved a weightlifting bar that was covered in his wife’s blood and hidden in a box of decorations in the basement of their Barrhaven home.
Police found the bar after a search of the home, seized it as evidence, then replaced it with a replica. Mr. Gill took the replica bar and threw it into a wooded area off Cedarview Road.
When Police originally spoke with Ms. Ronald, they noticed she had a band aid on her finger. When asked what happened, she said she “cut herself with a kitchen knife while cutting potatoes.”
During the trial, Ms. Ronald alleged that she went to the Gill home to borrow some tools. She claimed she found Ms. Gill’s body. Drops of Ms. Ronald’s blood were found at the crime scene on the carpet, at the base of the kitchen sink faucet, in the upstairs hallway floor, baseboard and in the master closet and ensuite area. It was also found on a torn piece of a blue latex glove that was found near Ms. Gill’s body. She said her blood was at the scene because she cut her finger washing the knife.
The Crown also says while under police surveillance, they saw Ms. Ronald drive from Gill’s temporary home to an NCC trail park of lot where she got out of the vehicle and walked a distance, some of what was out of view of the officers who were monitoring her. An NCC employee found the knife, which had traces of Ms. Gill’s blood on it.
While the original trial had a jury, the retrial did not. Ontario Superior Court Justice Anne London-Weinstein heard the case, and is expected to announce her verdict in the summer.