‘Ottawa’ Disposing of Bloody Bar ‘Stupid’ But not Evidence of Guilt, Argues Defence
Fear was the motivation for Bhupinderpal Gill to try to dispose of a bloody bar he believed had been used to kill his wife, Jagtar, not an attempt to protect his friend, former lover and co-accused Gurpreet Ronald, Gill’s defence lawyer argued Wednesday.
“He remembered the bar because of what he’d been told by the funeral director,” lawyer James Harbic said in his final summation to the jury in Gill and Ronald’s first-degree murder trial. “His nightmare was confirmed.
“Why didn’t he just call police and tell them to come and get it? It wasn’t to protect Gurpreet Ronald. She’d been wearing gloves.
“It was serendipity. Stupid. Sometimes even innocent people do stupid things,” Harbic said.
The bar, in fact, was a replica planted by police who had found it hidden in the basement of Gill’s Barrhaven home. Police were watching when Gill, having been allowed back his house after the murder investigation was complete, retrieved it and disposed of it in a nearby field.
Gill’s disposing of the bar is perhaps the most incriminating evidence in the Crown’s case against him. The Crown alleges that Gill and Ronald conspired to kill Jagtar on Jan. 29, 2013 – the Gills’ anniversary – to carry on an affair the two OC Transpo co-workers had been having. The Crown contends Ronald entered the house and beat Jagtar Gill with a weightlifting bar before stabbing her with a large knife.
But Harbic argued that there was no affair. Bhupinderpal Gill told police it had ended in September 2013, months before the killing, and the Crown had found no evidence the pair were involved in a sexual relationship at the time of Jagtar’s death – no bank records, no motel receipts, not even witness sightings of the two holding hands.
They were just friends, he said.
“In my experience, people kill over greed, they kill over money, they kill over sex. But a platonic friendship? I don’t think so.”
And if Gill had helped in the killing by, as the Crown alleges, ensuring the couple’s children were out of the house on the 29th, leaving Jagtar alone and vulnerable at home where she was recovering from surgery, the supposed co-conspirators picked a bad day for it.
Since it was the Gills’ anniversary, their Barrhaven home would see plenty of friends coming and going. Bhupinderpal himself was home rather than having the alibi of driving his OC Transpo bus.
“Why pick the 29th? Why not the 30th?” Harbic asked. “My point is, there was a better day to organize such a dreadful monstrosity of a day.”
The trial before Ontario Superior Court Justice Julianne Parfett and a jury of seven men and five women resumes Thursday morning with final summations from Ronald’s lawyer, Michael Smith.