Woman accused of killing Ottawa mom Jagtar Gill expressed condolences on Facebook

Published: April 10, 2014

34-year-old mother of two held on charge of first-degree murder

SHAAMINI YOGARETNAM AND MEGHAN HURLEY
POSTMEDIA NEWS

OTTAWA — Four days after Jagtar Gill was found stabbed to death in her Barrhaven home, Gurpreet Ronald commented on a Citizen article about the gruesome slaying, offering her condolences to a grieving family.

Sikh-India-Punjab-crime-Canada

Gurpreet Ronald, 34, is facing first-degree murder charges in the slashing death of Jagtar Gill, 43, in Barrhaven in January 2014. Image from Facebook

“My prayers and my thoughts are with the Gill family,” the beautiful 34-year-old mother of two young daughters wrote on Facebook, where she uses her maiden name, Brar.

On Wednesday, Ronald appeared in an Ottawa court, charged with first-degree murder in the same Jan. 29 slaying.

Not only did the two women live just steps from each other in a growing development off Greenbank Road that is home to many Indian families — Ronald on Towhee Place and Gill on Brambling Way — their children played together, and the families were longtime friends. Ronald and the victim’s widower, Bhupinderpal Gill, are both OC Transpo bus drivers.

The killing, which is alleged to have occurred on the day of the Gills’ 17th wedding anniversary, while Bhupinderpal Gill and his teenage daughter were out getting gifts for Jagtar, has raised rampant allegations in the Sikh community that the co-workers were linked romantically.

Related Stories:

It’s an accusation that Bhupinderpal Gill has denied, family members told the Citizen.

“Right now, at least we know who she is,” Kulwinder Sidhu, Jagtar Gill’s brother-in-law, said after seeing the accused during her first court appearance Wednesday. “It’s all clear.

Sikh-India-Punjab-crime-Canada

Jagtar Gill was found dead in her home in January by her husband and teenage daughter. Shaamini Yogaretnam, Ottawa Citizen

“Our community members are talking like, ‘Why she (allegedly) did that, what was the plan, is she alone or anybody else involved with it?’”

Police have not said whether they expect to lay further charges, but they have maintained that the investigation is ongoing and that they have not closed the case with the laying of a single charge.

Ronald, who police said had not been co-operating with investigators, was asked by police to come to the Greenbank Road station Tuesday to give a blood sample. When she did, they arrested her.

Ottawa police Insp. John Maxwell said that “DNA is a well-known investigative technique that is used in literally every significant file these days, including all homicides.” Maxwell would not comment on whether it played a role in the arrest.

Police said that arrest would lead to followup interviews with other people.

In the early days of the investigation, police had said there wasn’t evidence to suggest that the fatal attack on a woman alone in her home recovering from surgery was targeted.

Thinking the attack might have been random, neighbours and members of the Sikh community feared for their safety.

Sikh-India-Punjab-crime-Canada

Gurpreet Ronald, 34, is facing first-degree murder charges in the slashing death of Jagtar Gill, 43, in Barrhaven in January 2014. Image from Facebook

“At the onset of the investigation, we weren’t sure what we had,” Staff Sgt. Bruce Pirt of the major crime unit said Wednesday. But, “very, very quickly we progressed to learn that this wasn’t a random act of violence in the neighbourhood.”

Details of the killing — the victim’s wrists and throat were cut and blood splattered on the walls of her family home — had suggested an act of anger to investigators.

In court Wednesday, Ronald hid her face behind her long black hair and avoided making eye contact with anyone, including her husband, Jason Ronald, also an OC Transpo bus driver, who sat in the front row, and Bhupinderpal, seated with his children.

Police sources say there had been signs of trouble in the couple’s marriage, but still, Ronald leaned eagerly forward when his wife appeared.

“My family is obviously going through a tough time,” he said at the family’s home Wednesday after his wife had been remanded into custody.

He said the family will not be commenting further.

Defence lawyer Bruce Engel said his client was remaining calm.

“She is actually quite together,” Engel said. “Very upset and quite shocked by the charges, but responsive and able to understand my questions and able to respond to them.”

“Her husband is in shock,” Engel said. “He’s probably in more shock than she is.”

Craig Watson, president of the union representing OC Transpo drivers, said the killing and Wednesday’s charge “touches all of OC.”

Members of the union are friends with both Ronald, who has been a driver for seven years, and Bhupinderpal.

“It’s tough,” Watson said.

The union called the charging of one of its members with such a serious crime “unchartered territory.” In the 23 years Watson has been with OC Transpo, he said he’s never known of an employee accused of murder.

Jagtar’s sister, Balwinder Chahal, said that since her sister was killed, she’s been left with nagging thoughts, wondering who was responsible and why anyone would want to harm her. While the arrest and charge doesn’t get rid of those thoughts, she said, it has brought some relief for the family.

It’s the first moment in a long process that will hopefully bring about the answers the family wants, Kulwinder said. “We have to wait.”

Ronald is next scheduled to appear in court by video feed on April 16.

Her lawyer plans to prepare for a bail hearing.

syogaretnam@ottawacitizen.com

twitter.com/shaaminiwhy


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,





Featured

monkey main

VIDEO: Monkey saves dying friend at Indian railway station

VANCOUVER DESI A small monkey in India has become an overnight hero after it saved the life of another monkey that was electrocuted at a…
Continue Reading »

bus stop

Father charged after toddler struck in face and abandoned at Surrey bus stop ‘like he was a piece of garbage’

NICK EAGLAND VANCOUVER DESI Police are crediting kind Surrey strangers for rescuing and attempting to identify a three-year-old boy who was struck in the face…
Continue Reading »

narendra modi

Indian opposition lawmakers demand Modi clarify stand on conversion of minorities to Hinduism

NIRMALA GEORGE THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW DELHI — Opposition lawmakers, charging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done little to stop hard-liners in his party…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

bus stop

Father charged after toddler struck in face and abandoned at Surrey bus stop ‘like he was a piece of garbage’

NICK EAGLAND VANCOUVER DESI Police are crediting kind Surrey strangers for rescuing and attempting to identify a three-year-old boy who was struck in the face…
Continue Reading »

Social justice found online voice in 2014: Experts say

By Michelle McQuigge THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — Celebrity watchers and armchair coaches may have produced the most social media chatter over the past 12…
Continue Reading »

tausif

Ottawa police make arrests in drug and robbery related killing of international student

SHAAMINI YOGARETNAM OTTAWA CITIZEN Ottawa police have arrested two men in what is now believed to be the drug-and-robbery-related pathway slaying of 23-year-old Carleton University…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Avoiding relapse, inviting happiness over the Holiday Season

NIRMALA RANIGA VANCOUVER DESI The holiday season can be an especially challenging time for individuals in recovery from addictive behaviours. Holiday parties and celebrations with…
Continue Reading »

Vagina Monologues

Sex workers from India’s largest red light area seek American feminist Eve Ensler’s help

IANS Kolkata – American activist and playwright Eve Ensler Friday met sex workers in Kolkata’s Sonagachi, one of Asia’s largest red light areas, who sought…
Continue Reading »

Miss World

Bikini round removed from Miss World pageant

IANS London – The Miss World contest, which has been an annual feature since 1951, will no longer feature a swimsuit round in their competition,…
Continue Reading »

sexi desi babes

Gallery: Wait for India’s Kingfisher Calendar Girl 2015 is almost over

VANCOUVER DESI The Hunt for the Kingfisher Calendar Girl 2015 is almost over. An Indian lifestyle channel will air the grand finale of the reality…
Continue Reading »

Taliban attack

Pakistani student who skipped school on the day of Taliban rampage ‘isn’t talking to anyone’

VANCOUVER DESI A 15-year-old student of Pakistan’s Army Public School  – which was bombed by the Taliban this week, killing 141 people, of which 132…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

sunny

Indo Canadian porn star Sunny Leone to ring in the New Year in Hyderabad

  VANCOUVER DESI Indo Canadian porn star turned Bollywood starlet Sunny Leone will be ringing in the New Year in Hyderabad, according to the Deccan…
Continue Reading »

BOLLYWOOD

Aamir Khan’s PK sparks Twitter battle

IANS New Delhi  – Aamir Khan’s latest release PK has spurred a trending Twitter battle with audiences either hailing the film as the best of…
Continue Reading »

desi sex

Shah Rukh Khan’s Happy New Year now a click away for international fans

IANS New Delhi  – After making a mark with the worldwide theatrical release, Shah Rukh Khan’s Happy New Year will now be available for international…
Continue Reading »