Testimony continues in West Chester quadruple murder

Testimony continues in West Chester quadruple murder
Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 6:22 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 7, 2022 at 6:24 PM EDT
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WEST CHESTER, Ohio (WXIX) -Testimony continued Friday in the capital murder trial of a man accused of killing his wife, her parents, and her aunt in Butler County.

Gurpreet Singh, 40, is accused of killing his wife, Shalinderjit Kaur, 39; his mother-in-law, Parmjit Kaur, 62; his father-in-law, Hakiakat Singh Pannag, 59, and his wife’s aunt, Amarjit Kaur, 58, at the Lakefront at West Chester apartment complex on Wyndtree Drive on April 28, 2019.

On Friday, the prosecution questioned West Chester Police Sergeant Eric Couch, who was at the scene.

Prosecutors asked Couch questions about the locations and authenticity of the crime scene evidence.

Couch stated that a detective and the coroner’s office collected 16 shell casings.

While the prosecution focused on where the evidence was found, the defense asked him to confirm where the evidence was not found.

Sgt. Couch stated that he did not find any damage to the doorway, indicating a forced entry.

Defense: When you were tracking these foot or boot prints in the apartment, you did not notice any that went from the living room the patio door that’s in the living room, correct?

Sgt. Couch: Correct

When asked from the prosecution and the defense about fingerprints, Sgt. Couch stated that he could not dust for fingerprints because it would have affected the investigators’ ability to collect DNA from the scene.

The defense stated that investigators collected 34 swabs from the scene but only tested two.

Sgt. Couch: Sir, I have no idea. It was tested by BCI.

Friday’s testimony ended with West Chester Officer John Marconi’s body camera footage showing Singh’s being placed in handcuffs.

Barbara Wilson, Public Information and Engagement Director for West Chester Township, says that on the night of the killings, West Chester police questioned Singh as a witness but did not take him into custody and was not placed under arrest.

Singh called 911 around 10 p.m. that night and told a dispatcher he came home and found four relatives on the ground, bleeding from the head.

Singh was arrested in Connecticut less than three months later, in July, and indicted the following month.

His trial has been delayed multiple times so that Singh, who speaks English and Punjabi, could get an interpreter in court and also due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to court records.

The defense claims that Singh was not responsible for the killings and is attempting to connect the murders to two other people, saying their motive is related to a property dispute in India.

“They’re known to take land by what the relative says is the cook and crook method, they’re known as ‘Land Mafia of India,’” the defense stated on Wednesday during opening statements.

On Friday, the prosecution stated that they have cell phone data that places Singh at the crime scene when neighbors heard gunshots.

The trial is expected to take two to three weeks.

If convicted, Singh could face the death penalty.

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