Murder Accused Bhupinderpal Gill Insists he Never Loved co-accused Mistress
Bhupinderpal Gill told a jury hearing his first-degree murder trial on Tuesday that he was never in love with his co-accused mistress in the bloody slaying of his wife.
Testifying in his own defence, he flatly denied ever being in love with fellow OC Transpo driver and Barrhaven neighbour Gurpreet Ronald and insisted that what he really wanted was for police to solve the murder of Jagtar Gill, the mother of his three children, so her killer would go to jail.
That was despite, as prosecutor Jason Neubauer charged in exacting cross-examination, washing bloody knives and dumping a blood-stained metal bar used to kill his wife, then admitting it to police only when he had no choice.
“Yes, because at the time I was worried only about myself,” Gill admitted through a Punjabi interpreter. “Yes, because I did not want to go to jail for a crime that I had never done.”
Nor did Gill tell police that he was fearful, as he repeated again and again on the stand, because Jagtar’s family had accused him — falsely he maintained — of threatening to kill her in 2004.
Gill, 40, and Ronald, 37, have both pleaded not guilty first-degree murder in the Jan. 29, 2014, killing. Jagtar Gill, 43, was slashed and bludgeoned to death as she recovered from surgery at home. Her husband and daughter were running errands, including buying a cake and flowers to celebrate the couple’s 17th wedding anniversary before discovering the grisly spectacle.
The jury has heard that Ronald’s DNA was found at the scene of the homicide.
The prosecution’s theory is that the pair had conspired to kill Jagtar so they could be together because Bhupinderpal Gill believed divorce was not an option.
Gill testified Tuesday that he could have “easily” divorced his wife and denied purposely washing the knives as his “job” after the killing to protect himself and Ronald.
“I don’t have any knowledge that Gurpreet killed Jagtar, and she never told me anything about this — ever,” said Gill, who testified that the affair, which started in 2010, had ended months before
“Did you ever fall in love with Gurpreet Ronald?” Neubauer had asked earlier.
“No, we were with each other because we had many common habits and Gurpreet was having problems in her home,” Gill said, later adding that he was “attracted, but I did not have any feelings toward her.”
Gill said they carpooled and joked around — and had the sex he didn’t have with his wife. But they didn’t go to dinners or movies.
Gill denied the Crown’s charge that he wanted to be with Ronald and only her and had come to hate his wife for “the happiness you thought she was depriving you of.”
Gill testified he ultimately told his wife about the affair, apologized and was readying their house to sell to move away.
Yet even after the breakup with his mistress, Gill and Ronald remained “very good friends” and talked every day, he said.
“You can’t deny that because we have the phone records,” Neubauer pointed out.
During cross-examination by Ronald’s lawyer, Michael Smith, Gill was asked about a string of calls on the day of the killing and a meeting where Gill said Ronald showed up to see him at a Sobeys parking lot.
Smith suggested to Gill that a “visibly upset” Ronald had said, “What the f—?” and asked, “Do you know what’s going on at your house?”
“She did not say anything like that to me — it was a 20-second talk,” Gill said.
Instead, he insisted, Ronald was repeatedly asking him to go to Ikea with her because she was redecorating her family home.