Accused Killer Of Indo-Canadian Teen Makes First Court Appearance In Vancouver

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Poonam Randhawa’s Accused Murder Ninderjit Singh Soos Brought Back To Face Charges

VANCOUVER – There is a saying – you can run but you can’t hide for long – and that aptly applies to Ninderjit Singh Soos, the accused killer of bright young Indo-Canadian teen Poonam Randhawa, who was brought back to Vancouver to face charges.

Wearing the same blue golf shirt seen in photos from American authorities, Singh made his first appearance in B-C Provincial Court Friday morning.

A number of Randhawa’s family members were in court, just a day after Singh was brought back to Canada to face a second degree murder charge, reported CKNW news.

Speaking outside the courthouse, Randhawa’s great uncle, Avtar Randhawa, told the media the family is very upset but also feels relief Singh will face justice after almost 13 years on the run.

Singh didn’t make eye contact with the handful of Randhawa’s family in attendance and spoke only once when the judged asked him if he understood the brief proceedings.

“Yes, sir,” Singh said to the judge.

Singh was also in court on an unrelated charge of attempted murder relating to an incident in 1997.

Roger Manhas, 37, told The Province newspaper he was the victim in that incident. He said he was shot four times while sitting in a movie theatre on Kingsway.

He, too, was happy Singh had finally been arrested.

“I’m glad, finally,” Manhas said.

Singh’s next court date is on October 7th.

Singh was escorted back to B.C. Thursday morning after being extradited from the U.S., police say.

He is facing a first-degree murder charge in the 1999 shooting death of 18-year-old Poonam Randhawa. He is also charged with attempted murder in an unrelated shooting outside a Vancouver movie theatre in 1997.

Singh was arrested in California on Aug. 19 after a manhunt that lasted more than a decade. He had been living under an alias in San Jacinto, along with his wife and two young children.

He is accused of murdering Randhawa — possibly an ex-girlfriend or general acquaintance– during her lunch break at Sir Winston Secondary on Jan. 26, 1999. He allegedly shot her once in the head as she sat in the back of a friend’s car and then dumped her body on a quiet street.

The alleged killer fled the country for California immediately after the slaying, and police in Vancouver and the U.S. have been searching for him ever since.

Police have said they are taking a second look at the murder case files to see if more charges are warranted. That might include some charges against Paul Aulakh, the man driving the car in which Randhawa was killed.

A warrant for Singh’s arrest was issued three days later, apparently after Aulakh called police on the advice of a friend. But Singh had already flown to Los Angeles, where he has family.

Aulakh had stowed his bloody car in a garage on East 61st Avenue. Police have said that they are looking at all the evidence and new charges could be laid against those who allegedly helped Singh escape.

Since 2001, Vancouver police have offered a $10,000 reward for Singh’s arrest. The search for the wanted man was outlined on the TV show America’s Most Wanted in 1999, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security joined the hunt in 2008.

Police say they learned of the alias Singh was using in early August. He was allegedly using a false social security number and working as a truck driver in Irvine, California.

But his appearance had changed so much it was hard to confirm that he was the same person who has been on the lam since 1999. The once-slender Singh had ballooned to 300 lbs., grown a beard and started wearing a turban.

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