Indo-Canadian Man Accused Of Killing Two People Finally Stands Trial
Jaswant Singh Gill is accused of killing his wife Gurpreet Gillin 2006 and an acquaintance in 1994. Gurpreet Gill disappeared in 2006. Her remains were identified in 2013. The prosecution say they will show Gill confessed to both killings during an undercover or “Mr. Big” operation.
VANCOUVER – A trial recently began for an Indo-Canadian man from Vancouver accused of shooting and killing an acquaintance in broad daylight in Burnaby, and then 12 years later, killing his own wife.
Jaswant Singh Gill is charged with first degree murder in relation to the 1994 death of Thomas Eldon Akerman and the 2006 killing of his wife Gurpreet Gill.
He was arrested in 2013 following an undercover investigation by Vancouver Police and the Burnaby RCMP.
Gill — who has been in custody since his arrest — appeared in court last Wednesday, with a shaved head, wearing red prison sweats, reported CBC News.
He is standing trial for both killings in front of a jury.
Crown Counsel Ann Seymour began opening statements Wednesday in which she explained police began to pursue Gill as a suspect in his wife’s murder in 2012.
At the time, she told the court, he was not a suspect in Akerman’s death.
Seymour said the Crown would show Gill confessed to both killings during an undercover or “Mr. Big” operation.
She said it would present evidence Gill told undercover officers he killed Akerman because of “greed” and because Akerman was “treating him like a slave.”
Seymour told the jury Gill had arranged to sell Akerman several kilograms of cocaine that day, and Akerman was carrying a significant amount of money when he was shot to death.
Akerman was found inside a Ford Bronco in the parking lot of the Bonsor Recreation Centre on December 23, 1994.
When police arrived, the passenger door was open and Akerman was shot several times in the head and upper body. A stack of money two to three inches thick was found next to his body.
Gill allegedly led undercover officers to wife’s remains
The Crown alleges Gill confessed to undercover officers he killed his wife, Gurpreet Gill, whom he met in India in 1999. She eventually moved to Canada. They married, and she became a permanent resident.
Seymour said the Crown will show the two had a fractious relationship and began living separately in 2005.
She said it will prove Gill killed his wife on Valentine’s Day, 2006, and buried her body on the lands of the Department of Defence in Richmond.
During the undercover operation, Seymour told the jury Gill even took officers to the area where he allegedly buried his wife.
She said the Crown plans to introduce another witness who claims Gill bragged he “choked the demons out of his wife.”
Gill’s lawyer made a few brief opening remarks on Wednesday in which he tried to cast doubt on the reliability of statements made by his client.
Defence lawyer Glen Orris told the jury Gill suffers from a significant mental disorder or illness that “manifests itself in a number of delusions and hallucinations.”
Orris asked the jury to consider how reliable or truthful Gill’s statements are, as evidence is presented throughout the trial.