Crown says testimony will show husband 'would do anything to get rid of his wife'
Published Friday, May 20, 2016 5:17PM EDT Last Updated Friday, May 20, 2016 5:44PM EDT
The Crown set out its case today in an Ottawa courtroom in the murder trial of Jagtar Gill.
Crown Prosecutor Jonathan Newbauer alleges Gill's husband planned her murder, and that his alleged mistress carried it out. The Crown alleges this was a love triangle with Jagtar Gill stuck in the middle, that the two co-accused worked together to plan her murder so that they could be together.
For the family of the devoted mother of 3, hearing how she died is incredibly painful.
“We don’t want to comment on anything right now,” Gill’s sister said as she left the courthouse, walking with her father and brother.
Their hope now is for justice through this trial.
And today, the Crown presented its case as to how it plans to bring about that justice and convince a 12-member jury to convict Bhupinderpal Gill and Gurpreet Ronald of first degree murder.
The Crown will call more than 30 witnesses, among them a clairvoyant who it alleges was hired by the two accused to find out whether they would be together as a couple.
She will testify that Gill told her he hated his wife and didn't view divorce as an option but that he would do anything to get rid of her.
The Crown alleges Gill and Ronald were having a long standing affair. Both were OC Transpo drivers. He says they arranged their work schedules to coincide, even moved blocks away from each other.
Gill's role in the murder, the Crown says, was to make sure his wife was alone in her Barrhaven home and vulnerable. She had just had a hernia operation the day before. Ronald's role, the Crown alleges, was to kill Jagtar Gill.
He will call a coroner to testify that the 43-year-old mother was bludgeoned with a weightlifting bar, stabbed in the abdomen, her wrists and throat slit.
The Crown says Ronald's blood was found at the crime scene and in a latex glove found on an NCC trail months after the murder, along with a knife. That police watched as Gill disposed of a weightlifting bar in a forest off Cedarview, not knowing the original bar he had allegedly hidden was now in police custody.
Part of the evidence will be hundreds of cellphone calls between the two accused.
Gill and Ronald are together in the prisoner box in the courtroom. Ronald wore her waist-length dark hair pulled back in a ponytail. Gill sported a suit jacket. The two never looked at each other, though they are just a few feet apart but are joined together in this accusation of murder.
The case drew a line-up outside the courtroom, with family members, interested on-lookers and former OC Transpo drivers like Yoni Santo, trying to get in to watch the proceedings.
“I knew the people accused,” says Santo, “I know some of family members, and I came as support for family.”
Late Friday afternoon, the Crown called its first witness: a police officer with the forensic identification unit, showing photos of the inside of the Gill house and of Gill's body covered with a tarp.