Accused killer wants to take back guilty plea in connection with West Kelowna murder

Click to play video: 'Former Surrey realtor accused of West Kelowna murder wants to withdraw guilty plea'
Former Surrey realtor accused of West Kelowna murder wants to withdraw guilty plea
The Lower Mainland senior accused of killing a woman at a West Kelowna hotel is hoping to withdraw his guilty plea one day after admitting to second-degree murder. – Feb 26, 2020

On Tuesday, a man who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder the day before, told court through his lawyer that he wanted to take back his guilty plea.

Tejwant Danjou, a former Surrey realtor, is accused of killing Rama Gauravarapu in July 2018 at West Kelowna’s Best Western Hotel.

At the time, police said that they responded to a report of a woman who needed help, but she had already died by the time they arrived. Danjou was arrested a short distance away.

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“He did not intend to plead guilty to second-degree murder because he did not intend the death of the victim,” Danjou’s lawyer Donna Turko told the judge.

She said that when she went to Danjou with a set of admissions, he refused to sign the papers, particularly the part that said he intended to kill the victim.

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“I’m in a position to request the court for an application to withdraw the plea,” she said.

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Turko told the judge she needs time to collect case law and will have Danjou swear an affidavit in order to try to withdraw the guilty plea.

The prosecution noted that the application the defence is contemplating is a serious matter.

“The Crown felt that yesterday’s process was careful and thoughtful and in line with the requirements of the Criminal Code and the requisite case law,” he said.

The judge said that if the guilty plea is successfully withdrawn, she expects to start the trial as soon as possible.

“And if there’s a ruling that the guilty plea is not to be set aside, then I would expect to proceed in a timely fashion with sentencing,” she said.

The case is expected to be back in court Friday at 10 a.m.

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Click to play video: 'Alleged murder at busy West Kelowna hotel'
Alleged murder at busy West Kelowna hotel

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