Police used fake survey to get DNA sample from Jagtar Gill murder suspect

Police devised an intricate ruse to surreptitiously obtain a DNA sample from an Ottawa woman accused of killing her alleged lover's wife, an Ottawa court heart Thursday.

Gurpreet Ronald, Bhupinderpal Gill are both on trial for first-degree murder

Bhupinderpal Gill and Gurpreet Ronald have both been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Jagtar Gill. (CBC)

Police devised an intricate ruse to surreptitiously obtain a DNA sample from an Ottawa woman accused of killing her alleged lover's wife, an Ottawa court heard Thursday.

Gurpreet Ronald, 37 and Bhupinderpal Gill, 40 are on trial for the first-degree murder in the death of Gill's wife, Jagtar Gill.

The 43-year-old mother of three was found on Jan. 29, 2014, bludgeoned and stabbed multiple times in her Barrhaven home.

The co-accused are being tried together but have separate legal teams.

Obtained sample from fake survey

In court Thursday, Det. Krista Hill of the Ottawa Police Service's major crimes unit testified about how she conducted an undercover operation designed by her colleague Det. John Monette, the homicide's lead investigator.

The goal of the operation, Hill said, was to covertly obtain a DNA sample from Ronald.

Hill told Ontario Superior Court Justice Julianne Parfett and the 12-person jury that she posed as a representative from the Ontario Construction Association, and said the association was conducting a door-to-door survey.

Hill testified that on Feb. 28, 2014, she visited Ronald's home — just around the corner from the Gill residence — and got Ronald to fill out the survey. Hill said she told Ronald she would automatically enter her name in a draw for six months of free mortgage payments.

"Ronald filled it out, and I asked her to put her address on the outside," said Hill. "I then asked her to seal the envelope by licking the adhesive."

Matched blood found in Gill home, court hears

The saliva sample from the envelope, Hill said, allowed forensic tests to match Ronald's DNA to the blood found in the Gill home.

Earlier in the trial, the jury had heard that blood found on knives and the fingertip of a latex glove found in the Gill home matched Ronald's DNA. Forensic tests also matched blood found in a number of locations in the home, including the Gills' upstairs hallway and the master bedroom, to Ronald.

Jagtar Gill, 43, was found dead in her home on Jan. 29, 2014. (Gill family)

During cross examination, Bhupinderpal Gill's lawyer James Harbic asked Hill if she'd offered Ronald an early-bird door prize for filling out the survey.

"Yes," Hill replied.

The prize, the court heard, was a weekend for two at the Château Laurier in Ottawa. Hill testified the purpose of that ruse was to lure Ronald into inviting Bhupinderpal Gill to the hotel.

Hill agreed with Harbic that police wanted proof that the two were having an affair — and that if the pair spent the weekend at the hotel, police would get a warrant to record their conversations.

However, Ronald turned down the door prize one month later, Hill testified.