3 years after West Chester family’s murders, suspect Gurpreet Singh has final hearing before trial

Singh faces the death penalty if convicted.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

More than three years after the shooting death of four family members in a West Chester Twp. apartment, the man accused of their murders is scheduled to be back in court next week for a final hearing ahead of his October trial.

Gurpreet Singh, 39, is charged with four counts of aggravated murder for the April 28, 2019, homicides. With specifications of using a firearm and killing two or more persons, Singh faces the death penalty if convicted.

Singh is accused of killing his wife, Shalinderjit Kaur, 39; his in-laws, Hakikat Singh Pannag, 59, and Parmjit Kaur, 62; and his aunt by marriage, Amarjit Kaur, 58, at their residence on Wyndtree Drive. All died with gunshot wounds.

After the legal process slowed down due to COVID-19 pandemic safety issues and legal maneuvering, it appears Singh will finally get his day in court. His attorneys maintain Singh is innocent.

The family members were all shot and dead when West Chester Police arrived at the Wyndtree Drive after Singh called 911.

Singh was outside in the stairwell covered in blood crying that his family bleeding. He was questioned for hours by police, but released.

He was indicted in August 2019 and arrested.

The father of three young children who was a self-employed truck driver running his own company before his arrest, Singh is being held without bond in the Butler County Jail. He is a native of India but has been a United States citizen since 2009.

Butler County Common Pleas Judge Greg Howard has ordered 150 prospective jurors for the first day of selection and another 150 for the second day if necessary. The trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 3 with jury selection.

The trial will be held on the fourth floor of the Butler County court wing in a newly completed super courtroom that will accommodate more observers and is equipped with updated technology for presentation to the jury. The trial is expected to last two to three weeks.

Subpoena issuing began last month and includes police officers, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents, keepers of records from banks, United Airlines, cell phone companies, and local, Indiana and Kentucky residents.

Hotel rooms have been booked and security arranged if the jury should require sequestration. By law, in a death penalty case, the jury must be sequestered during deliberations. If the defendant is convicted they are also required to the sequestered while deliberating a penalty recommendation following the mitigation phase.

If the defendant is convicted, the jury will consider recommendation on of five penalties, death, life in prison without parole. 20 years to life, 25 years to life or 30 years to life. It is up to the judge to decide whether or not follow the jury’s recommendation and ultimately impose the sentence.

Singh is scheduled to be back in court Sept. 14 for the final pre-trial hearing.

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