Ottawa

Accused in Jagtar Gill murder trial tells police he looks guilty after dumping bar

A man on trial for killing his wife admitted to police he threw away what he believed to be one of the murder weapons, but repeatedly said he didn't kill his wife or have any knowledge of who might have committed the crime.

'I'm screwed,' Bhupinderpal Gill tells police detective in videotaped interrogation

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

An Ottawa man on trial for killing his wife admitted to police he threw away what he believed to be one of the murder weapons, but repeatedly said he didn't kill his wife or have any knowledge of who might have committed the crime.

The revelation came in the first part of a four-hour video-taped interrogation police conducted with Bhupinderpal Gill on Apr. 14, 2014, the day he was arrested.

The video was played in Ontario Superior Court in Ottawa on Tuesday. Gill, 40, and his alleged lover Gurpreet Ronald, 37, are each charged with the first-degree murder in the slaying of Gill's wife, Jagtar Gill.

Jagtar Gill, 43, was found dead in her home on Jan. 29, 2014. (Gill family)
Jagtar Gill, 43, was found bludgeoned and stabbed to death in the couple's home in the Ottawa neighbourhood of Barrhaven on Jan. 29, 2014, the day she and her husband would have celebrated their 17th wedding anniversary.

The Crown and police allege Ronald and Gill were having an affair and killed Jagtar so they could be together.

The two accused have both pleaded not guilty.

Police issued release about bloody bar to prompt reaction

Ottawa Police Det. Chris Benson, the investigator who conducted the interview, told Ontario Superior Court Justice Julianne Parfett and the 12-person jury the interview came about after police issued a news release designed to get a reaction from Bhupinderpal Gill.

Court had previously heard how on the night Jagtar Gill's body was discovered police had found a bloody metal bar in the basement of the home and had removed it and sent it for DNA analysis.

Police replaced the original bar with a replica bar using sheep blood to make it look like authentic. Police then obtained a judicial warrant to install a hidden camera in the basement of the Gill home.

A still image from a police camera police set in the basement of the Gill home shows Bhupinderpal Gill checking on a weightlifting bar on Feb. 6, 2014, police testified. (Ottawa Police Service)
On Feb. 9, 2014, Bhupinderpal Gill is captured on video tape stuffing the bar inside his clothes.

Police surveillance officers followed him as he drove to a field next to Cedarview Drive, not too far from his Barrhaven house, and tossed the bar into the wooded area.

Then on Apr. 11, police issued a news release saying they'd found a bloody metal bar in a wooded area near Cedarview, one they believed was linked to the Gill homicide investigation.

Just days later Gill called police to tell Det. Benson he had found the bar in his basement and had thrown it away.

Gill says he was 'scared' to tell police

Gill then came in for the four-hour interrogation.

When questioned about why he threw away the bar Gill told Benson his daughter had reminded him that on the day of Jagtar's death, Gill had picked up a blood-stained bar next to his wife's body.

He had run upstairs and then the basement because he feared the person who attacked his wife might still be in the house.

Gill said he hadn't remembered doing that because he said when he saw his wife's body he "froze."

He told Benson that he only realized he'd put the bar in a box in the basement when he put away the Christmas decorations. Then he noticed it in the box with the artificial Christmas tree.

Gill said he noticed the blood on the bar but didn't wash it off.

In an earlier police video Gill admitted he moved two knives next to his wife's body and washed them off in the kitchen sink.

On the video-taped interview Benson asks Gill why he didn't call police about throwing out the bar earlier.

"I don't know sir. It's hard to explain. Maybe I just scared again nervous," replied Gill.

"What would you be scared of?" asked Benson.

"I don't know sir, it's really hard to explain," replied Gill. "I know I'm guilty for it I might gonna get charged for this so only thing I can tell you I'm not involved in this. I got three kids and two old parents depending on me." 

In the video Benson moves on to ask Gill to describe his relationship with Gurpreet Ronald.

"A friend, a good friend," Gill answers, adding they have worked together as drivers for OC Transpo for a number of years but denying he was having an affair with her.

Benson then asks Gill directly "Why would Gurpreet want to kill your wife?"

"I don't know sir, that's well… you have to ask her. That's what I want to ask her," Gill said.

'Be honest with me,' police detective says

Benson steps us his interrogation, putting to Gill that he doesn't believe he's being truthful.

"As a man-to-man talk I want you to be honest with me. I want you to be honest with yourself," said Benson. "This is eating you up."

The detective tells Gill "put yourself in my shoes. How would your situation look to me?"

"My situations look from every angle I'm guilty involve in it," replied Gill. "From my situation I'm screwed."

"I start helping Gurpreet because she ask me and then we come really close friend[s]. I'm paying the price today to being helpful to someone," Gill told Benson.

Gurpreet Ronald looks at a note left on her windshield in this police photo entered as evidence in court. Police had planted the note - which said "killer" - in an effort to prompt Ronald to contact Bhupinderpal Gill. (Ottawa Police)
Benson asks Gill if he had any involvement in his wife's murder or any knowledge of who might have killed her.

"No," Gill maintained.

The jury is scheduled to watch the remainder of the video taped interview on Wednesday.

Police planted 'killer' note on Ronald's van

Earlier the court heard how police had tried to elicit a reaction out of Ronald by planting a note with a single word — "killer" — on the windshield of her van.

The trial had previously heard that police had found blood throughout the house after Gill's body was discovered.

Court also heard that police obtained Ronald's DNA surreptitiously after police had her lick an envelope as part of a fake survey. Her DNA matched that of the blood found near Gill's body.

Benson said police used the note on Ronald's windshield to gather evidence linking Ronald to Bhupinderpal in a conspiracy to kill Jagtar Gill.

The note police left for Ronald did not have the desired effect. Instead she filed a complaint with her employer, OC Transpo, and police were called to investigate. (Ottawa Police Service)
On April 3 the note with the word "killer" was left on the windshield of Ronald's van, parked at her workplace, OC Transpo.

Officers, who had wire taps on both the accused cellphones, hoped the note would prompt the two to talk about the killing.

It didn't.

Instead, Ronald contacted her employer, and OC Transpo security contacted police. The responding officer was unaware police had planted the note, court heard.

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