Bhupinderpal Gill, Gurpreet Ronald found guilty of killing Gill's wife
Ottawa resident Jagtar Gill was found dead in January 2014 on her 17th wedding anniversary
An Ottawa jury has found former lovers Bhupinderpal Gill and Gurpreet Ronald guilty of killing Gill's longtime wife.
Jagtar Gill, a 43-year-old mother of three, was found stabbed and bludgeoned to death on Jan. 29, 2014 — her 17th wedding anniversary — in the Barrhaven, Ont., home she shared with her family.
After a highly publicized Superior Court trial, Gill and Ronald were found guilty of first-degree murder on Wednesday. The courtroom erupted in applause and Jagtar's parents broke down sobbing, reported the CBC's Laurie Fagan.
Neither Gill, 40, or Ronald, 37, showed emotion after their verdicts were announced and both declined to make a statement in court.
They both receive automatic life sentences with no chance of parole for 25 years.
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Over the nine-week trial, the Crown argued that Ronald and Gill "were in love and dreamed of being together" when they plotted and carried out the murder.
The co-accused, who both worked as OC Transpo drivers, had each pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. They were tried together but were represented by separate lawyers.
On July 15, Justice Julianne Parfett told the jury: "Don't use sympathy, prejudice or fear to come to a decision."
Parfett delivered a 2½-hour charge to the jury, with instructions on evidence and questions of law pertaining to the case.
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The jury of seven men and five women could have found the two accused guilty or not guilty of first-degree murder. It could not find them guilty of a lesser charge.
On Wednesday Jagtar's niece, Ramandeep Chahal, read a victim impact on behalf of her grandparents, Jagtar's parents.
"Jagtar's children have been robbed of a mother's love," she read. "There is no closure, as we often hear. There is no moving on. There's nothing, and we mean absolutely nothing, that makes you feel better. They say time heals all wounds but we have to disagree. The only thing time has done for our family is to move the tragic loss of Jagtar further away. It hasn't made it better.
"Your short life enriched the lives of so many people. You will never be forgotten. Loved forever."
After the statement was read and the court proceeding ended, the front row of the courtroom, occupied by family and friends, joined in a Sikh prayer.
Family members said they now plan to follow Jagtar's wishes and have her ashes spread in India.
James Harbic, Gill's lawyer, said he will appeal. He described his client is shocked and devastated by the verdict.
Ronald's lawyer said his client is very emotional and extremely disappointed in the verdict.
Michael Smith said he'll look into options, but added it's too early to talk about a possible appeal.