Media allowed in death penalty trial of West Chester man accused of murdering 4, judge rules

Gurpreet Singh appears in court for a pretrial hearing

BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - A man accused of killing four family members at his West Chester apartment earlier this year was in Butler County court Wednesday for a pre-trial hearing.

Gurpreet Singh, 37, and his lawyers filed several motions on which Judge Gregory Howard ruled.

The first motion concerned about $10,000 of cash seized by police while executing a search warrant at Singh’s home.

Singh wanted the money back.

“Nowhere does the state say that Mr. Singh profited or obtained this money because of these alleged acts,” Singh’s attorney argued. “Mr. Singh possessed this money legally.”

Howard, however, ruled Singh cannot have the money back before his trial.

“The evidence should continue to be held,” he said, “as it is potentially evidence in the commission of a criminal offense.”

The second motion, which Howard did allow, asked that Singh be able to wear civilian clothing in court.

But the third motion went the way of the first, with Howard ruling against Singh’s request to keep media out of the trial.

“The court finds no reason at the present juncture to close the courtroom to any spectator, including the media,” Howard said. “Moreover it is simply speculation for the defendant to conclude the pretrial publicity would deny him the right to a fair trial.”

Singh’s wife, her parents and her aunt were found shot to death on April 28 at the Lakefront apartment complex in West Chester.

Singh himself first reported the murders to police, telling dispatchers he came home and found the relatives on the ground.

Police questioned him as a witness, but did not take him into custody the night of the murders.

On July 2, Connecticut police arrested Singh on four counts of murder. He was extradited to Ohio Aug. 1 and indicted by a grand jury just hours later.

Previously | Swift indictment for West Chester quadruple murder suspect hours after extradition

In court, Singh pleaded not guilty. He was denied a bond.

Singh could face the death penalty if convicted.

He is scheduled to be back in court in March for another hearing. His trial has a tentative start date of Sept. 21, 2020.

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