UPDATE: Paramjit Singh Bogarh will serve two more years in jail following a plea deal in his wife’s 1986 murder.
In Kelowna Supreme Court on Thursday afternoon, Justice Martha Devlin sentenced Bogarh to five years after pleading guilty in the morning to being an accessory after the fact in his wife’s murder.
On Monday, Bogarh’s trial for murder and conspiracy to commit murder was to begin. However, it was postponed for an expected plea deal.
Crown and defence issued a joint submission, asking for a total jail sentence of five years. Devlin accepted the submission, with Bogarh being given credit for three years for time served.
He was extradited from the U.S. in 2018 to Canada to face charges.
A former Okanagan man accused of killing his wife more than 30 years ago pleaded guilty on Thursday morning to helping his brother escape law officials.
Extradited from the United States in 2018 after moving to California, Paramjit Singh Bogarh pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact in the murder of his then 26-year-old wife, Saminder Bogarh. The killing occurred at the couple’s home on New Year’s Eve in Vernon in 1986.
The guilty plea to the accessory charge came three days after his B.C. Supreme Court trial for first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder was scheduled to begin on Monday in Kelowna. However, the case was adjourned until Thursday for an expected plea deal.
The case will return to court Thursday afternoon.
Paramjit’s brother, Narinder Singh Bogarh, is also facing the same charges. The court was told that Narinder is believed to be in India.
In Kelowna court on Thursday morning, Paramjit pleaded guilty to assisting Narinder in escaping police by giving misleading statements.
Following the murder, Paramjit was originally charged with his wife’s death, but the criminal charge was soon stayed for lack of evidence at the time.
However, in 1996, Los Angeles Police contacted B.C. RCMP to say a man in their jurisdiction was boasting about killing his wife.
They had used what was at that time a new tool, the Violent Crime Linkage Analysis System, to connect details of his alleged crime to Saminder Bogarh’s murder.
The murder case was revived after Paramjit was extradited in 2018.
B.C. Court Services Online dates the charges from Nov. 1, 1986 to Dec. 31, 1986.
Paramjit had applied for bail after being extradited, but that application was denied.
Regarding the guilty plea for the charge of helping his brother escape, a joint submission from Crown and defence is asking for five total years in jail, with credit for three years’ time served.
Victim impact statements were read in the packed courtroom, including one from the couple’s son, who was two years old at the time of the murder.
— With files from Jules Knox and Megan Turcato