Gill, Ronald Found Guilty of First-Degree Murder
Jagtar Gill’s Killers Get 25 Years Without Parole as Verdict Delivered in Retrial
By Jeff Morris, Barrhaven Independent
Former Barrhaven lovers, neighbours, and OC Transpo co-workers Bhupinderpal Gill and Gurpreet Ronald have been found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2014 killing of Gill’s wife, Jagtar Gill.
Superior Court Justice Anne London-Weinstein was thorough and blunt as she delivered her verdict Tues., Aug. 10. Gill and Ronald will receive the maximum sentence of 25 years without parole.
Gill and Ronald, who had already been found guilty of murder in 2016 but won an appeal in 2019 to have their convictions overturned, were in the courtroom Tuesday. As they sat in separate prisoner’s boxes, Justice London-Weinstein spent about three hours going through every detail of both of their stories She pointed out a number of lies, and in other instances, she explained why their explanations were not credible.
“I found that Gurpreet Ronald killed Jagtar Gill, Justice London-Weinstein said. “I found that Mr. Gill assisted Ms. Ronald in the murder of his wife, knowing that Gurpreet Ronald intended to kill Jagtar Gill, and knowing that she planned and deliberated in that murder. Mr. Gill also planned and deliberated in the murder of his wife. He was not present for the killing however, so his liability is as an aider to Ms. Ronald.”
Murdered on Anniversary
On January 29, 2014, Bhupinderpal Gill took his teenage daughter, Dilpreet, to Sobey’s to help him pick out flowers and a cake. It was the Gill’s 17th wedding anniversary. Jagtar Gill, 43, was at the family’s home on Brambling Way, resting and recovering from abdominal surgery.
Justice London-Weinstein explained that since Ms. Gill was larger and stronger than Ms. Ronald, having her in a weakened state would make it easier to commit the murder. Mr. Gill left a weightlifting bar near his wife when he left, and the door was left unlocked.
When Ms. Ronald arrived, she was wearing latex gloves from her home. She beat Ms. Gill with the weightlifting bar and stabbed her with a kitchen knife several times. Ms. Gill’s throat was slit, and her wrist was nearly completely severed. Ms. Ronald’s finger was cut in the attack as Ms. Gill, even in her fragile state, tried to fight off her attacker. Ms. Ronald’s blood was found at the scene, and a piece of fingertip from one her gloves was also found. That became a key piece of evidence, as Ms. Ronald’s gloves and the knife were found by an NCC employee after Ronald dumped them in a rural area.
Ms. Gill was within reach of a portable landline telephone, but the line had been cut before Mr. Ronald committed the offence.
After the murder was committed, Ms. Ronald met Mr. Gill at Sobey’s, and they had a private conversation, away from Gill’s daughter. The judge explained that Mrs. Ronald informed Mr. Gill that the murder had been committed.
Mr. Gill returned to his home with his daughter and sent his daughter into the home to the horrifying scene of her mother lying on the floor in a pool of blood, bludgeoned and stabbed to death.
After entering the house, Gill hid the weightlifting bar in a box for an artificial Christmas tree in the basement. He then washed all the knives before calling 911 on his cell phone. While police detectives worked the murder scene, they replaced the weightlifting bar with a replica, covered in goat’s blood, taking the original bar to examine. When Mr. Gill was allowed back in the house, he was caught on camera going straight for the weightlifting bar. Police followed him as he disposed of it in a wooded area in the southwest corner of Barrhaven.
Ms. Ronald’s defence was that she went to the Gill home to borrow tools for a home project. She claimed she discovered the body and picked up the knife, and then washed it after realizing that she might be suspected of the murder. She said she cut her finger washing the knife. She also said she feared that the killer may still be in the house, though the judge said if that was the case, Ms. Ronald would not have taken the time to go upstairs to get a bandage or stopped to have a drink of water.
Mr. Gill, meanwhile, claimed in his defence that he knew nothing of the planned murder, and that Ms. Ronald acted alone in killing his wife.
Not a Credible Witness
“Ms. Ronald was not a credible witness,” Justice London-Weinstein said. “She lied on multiple occasions in this trial. She had a selective memory, forgetting critical aspects of the evidence in this case.”
Gill and Ronald had been romantically connected for more than a year. Divorce was not an option for Gill, who was 41 at the time of his wife’s murder. Though Justice London-Weinstein stated she did not want to speculate, there was the possibility that he did not want to lose half of his property, cash, and gold to his wife, and he did not want to pay child support.
“It became clear to me that the motive for this murder was that Mr. Gill and Ms. Ronald wanted to be with each other, and Jagtar Gill was in the way,” Justice London-Weinstein said. “Why murder as opposed to divorce was chosen as the way out is beyond my ability to discern from the evidence before me.”
While Gill was not at the murder scene when the crime was committed, Justice London-Weinstein said he played a role in the crime.
“I found that Mr. Gill was actively involved in the planning of the murder of Jagtar Gill well before the six days before her murder,” she said. “I found that Mr. Gill and Ms. Ronald began planning the murder of Jagat Gill shortly after he learned of her surgery date on January 9th. Jagtar Gill was a much larger and stronger woman than Ms. Ronald. I found that the timing of the murder was arranged by Mr. Gill to occur when Jagtar was physically weak.”
Justice London-Weinstein also said that Mr. Gill’s role in the murder was not just in the planning.
“I found that Mr. Gill’s assigned role in this homicide was to clean up whatever incriminating evidence that might have been left behind by Ms. Ronald,” she said. “In this case, the murder did not go exactly as planned, and Mr. Gill had to therefore clean up more than what was originally anticipated.”
Mr. Gill had also testified that when he met Ms. Ronald at Sobey’s after murder, he had no idea that Ronald had killed his wife. Justice London-Weinstein said the opposite was true.
“Mr. Gill knew his wife was murdered when Ms. Ronald met him at Sobey’s,” she said. “He let his daughter walk into the home first. He did so to insulate himself from any possible claim of involvement. He concealed the bar in the Christmas tree box on January 29th. He disposed of it on February 9th. He disposed of the bar because it linked him to the crime.”
Justice London-Weinstein rejected the evidence of both Ms. Ronald and Mr. Gill.
‘Beyond a Reasonable Doubt’
“I am satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Gurpreet Ronald killed Jagtar Gill, and she intended to kill Jagtar Gill, and that she planned and deliberated on the murder for its execution.
“I am satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Gill intended to kill his wife, and he actively participated in the planned and deliberate murder of Jagtar Gill by assisting Ms. Ronald, knowing Ms. Ronald intended to kill Jagtar Gill, and that the murder was both planned, and deliberate.”
After the verdict was announced, Jagtar Gill’s niece, Ramandeep Chahal, read a victim impact statement on behalf of Jagtar’s parents. She said having to go through a retrial refreshed the pain and suffering for their family, friends, and the community at large. Jagtar’s parents are in their late 70s. In addition to the language barrier, her father is undergoing cancer treatments.
“In the last 91 months, we have watched our family struggle with pain, anger and grief repeatedly,” she said. “We as parents, and our entire family, are forever broken and devoid of our daughter’s love, care and compassion and will always remain so” she continued.
“Jagtar was murdered seven years ago. The pain never leaves us… In the last 91 months, from the date of Jagtar’s death, we have watched our family struggle with pain, resentment, and grief. Our world has been completely destroyed by Bhupinderpal Gill and Gurpreet Ronald. Did Jagtar deserve this painful death? Jagtar was extremely hard working and dedicated countless hours of her life working to make the life of her family and children better. She was a dedicated, compassionate, and loving daughter and sister, and this brutal murder destroyed her life and left us all with irreparable loss and suffering.
“Imagine the worst emotional pain you can and multiply it a thousand-fold. That was the only way to describe a grief so enormous as that of experiencing a loved one’s murder.”
A date for formal sentencing is expected to come in the fall.