Suspect in 4 West Chester homicides falls at podium during first Ohio hearing

UPDATE @ 10:26 a.m.

A Butler County judge denied bond this morning for the man accused of killing four family members in West Chester in April.

During the hearing, Gurpreet Singh fell over at the podium and was helped into a chair by deputies.

The appearance was Singh’s first in an Ohio court after his arrest in Connecticut last month.

Credit: Nicholas S. Graham

Credit: Nicholas S. Graham


The man accused of killing four family members in a West Chester Twp. apartment in April is scheduled to be in a Butler County courtroom today for the first time.

Gurpreet Singh was indicted by a Butler County grand jury on Friday on four counts of aggravated murder from the April 28 incident. With specifications of using a firearm and killing two or more persons, Singh faces the death penalty if convicted.

Singh spent four weeks incarcerated in Connecticut after being arrested there on initial charges and warrants signed by the West Chester Police department. He was transported from Connecticut and booked into the Butler County Jail early Friday morning.

Defense attorney Charles H. Rittgers was waiting in county Area II Court on Friday morning for his client to be video arraigned on the initial charges of aggravated murder.

MORE: Attorney defending West Chester homicide suspect: Police ‘interrogated him’ for hours

But, Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said he wanted the arraignment to take place before a common pleas judge because this case includes a death specification.

After meeting in Howard’s chambers, the attorneys agreed that Singh would be arraigned this morning in common pleas court.

Rittgers said Singh is “absolutely not guilty.”

Singh retained Rittgers to represent him after West Chester police requested a second round of questioning, the attorney said. That is when Singh became concerned he was a suspect, despite being let go by detectives.

MORE: West Chester homicides call: ‘We have four victims, there’s no signs of life’

“They took him to back to the station immediately after he called 911 and after he discovered the body of his wife and his in-laws. They took him from the scene back to the station and interrogated him for six or seven hours and let him go at four or five in the morning,” Rittgers said.

Singh, 37, is the man who called 911 at about 9:40 p.m. on the night of April 28 screaming that he had found his family dead, according to police. Rittgers said Singh had last seen his family alive about 6 p.m. when he left to work on his truck.

Singh is accused of the 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 apartment on Wyndtree Drive. All died of gunshot wounds.

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