Jury deliberation in West Chester quadruple murder trial stretches into Friday after deadlock

Jury deadlocked in West Chester quadruple murder trial, judge urges jurors to continue deliberations
Published: Oct. 20, 2022 at 9:44 AM EDT
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WEST CHESTER, Ohio (WXIX) - After a little more than a day since jury deliberations began, jurors returned to the courtroom Thursday deadlocked in the West Chester quadruple murder trial.

Gurpreet Singh, 40, is accused of killing his wife, her parents and her aunt at an apartment complex in April 2019.

The judge in the case urged the jury to continue deliberations after they said they were deadlocked.

They did so for several hours before the judge released them around 10:30 p.m., saying he had a “difficult decision” to make Friday. He did not elaborate on the nature of that decision.

Deliberation will resume at 8:30 a.m.

He could face the death penalty if convicted. Because of that possible sentence, the jury is sequestered so each day they do not reach a verdict means another night they must stay in a hotel without a phone or TV.

His defense rested on Wednesday, two days after prosecutors did.

Singh’s attorneys called a single witness to the stand: a blood spatter expert.

The defense argued that shooting at that close a range would have left more blood spatter on Singh.

They also claimed investigators should have tested every DNA sample taken at the crime scene.

“Thirty-six [DNA samples] were taken in the apartment complex. Thirty-six, and they only tested four,” noted Singh’s defense attorney, Charlie Rittgers.

“Thirty-two were not tested, and we heard testimony that ‘we don’t know how expensive it is. They’re trying to kill a man.”

Attorneys on both sides took a total of four hours to deliver their closing arguments to the jury.

Butler County Common Pleas Court Judge Greg Howard instructed jurors to pack clothes for a few days because deliberations in a case like this could take some time.

Since the beginning of the trial, the defense has said the murders were actually committed by Indian mafia over a property dispute in that country.

Singh’s defense also named Shabazz Singh Nagra as an alternative suspect, claiming he is part of the “India Land Mafia.”

Prosecutors on Monday, however, unveiled records from federal immigration officials that appeared to show Nagra was in Canada at the time of the killings.

“As long as we’re clear, this was gathered four days ago,” Rittgers pointed out in court on Monday. “I mean, we just got this four days ago. I don’t want to hide anything from the jury, but we got it on Thursday (Oct. 13) at about 8 p.m.”

Last week, witnesses testified about a possible murder weapon and alleged prior physical abuse suffered by one of the victims at Singh’s hand.

The prosecution also played the initial police interview with Singh, where he described entering the apartment where the murders happened.

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