Three years after a quadruple murder, death penalty trial appears to be on track for fall

Defense attorney Charles M. Rittgers, right, speaks with his client Gurpreet Singh, charged in a quadruple homicide in West Chester Township, during a hearing in Butler County Common Pleas Court Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

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Defense attorney Charles M. Rittgers, right, speaks with his client Gurpreet Singh, charged in a quadruple homicide in West Chester Township, during a hearing in Butler County Common Pleas Court Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021 in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Three years after the shooting death of four family members in a West Chester Twp. apartment, the man accused of their murders will likely stand trial in October.

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 was back in Butler County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday for a pretrial hearing where the defense team and prosecutors said exchange of discovery is proceeding and preparation for the Oct. 3 trial is ongoing.

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Judge Greg Howard said he will order 150 prospective jurors for the first day of selection and another 150 for the second day if necessary.

Questionnaires to the jury pool are set to be mailed next month. The defense team has argued those forms should include a question about the person’s views on the death penalty, and the current from does not.

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Howard said he would give the defense latitude during voir dire to inquire about the death penalty.

Singh is scheduled to be back in court July 13 for a final pre-trial hearing.

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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.

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