B.C. man convicted of killing common-law spouse in West Kelowna given life sentence with no parole for 12 years

Man receives mandatory life sentence with no parole eligibility for 12 years after killing spouse in Okanagan hotel

A 71-year-old B.C. man has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 12 years for killing his common-law spouse in the Okanagan two years ago.

Tejwant Danjou of Surrey was convicted of second-degree murder in August.

Danjou was accused of murdering Rama Gauravarapu while vacationing at the Best Western Hotel in West Kelowna in July 2018.

During the trial, court heard that Danjou and Gauravarapu got into an argument while they were winetasting at Mission Hill winery.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Surveillance video shows final day of West Kelowna murder victim’s life

Back at the hotel, Danjou bludgeoned Gauravarapu to death with a broken wine bottle.

During the trial, Crown and defence lawyers agreed on many of the facts in the case.

At issue was the intent behind the killing and whether it was manslaughter or murder.

At the beginning of the trial, Danjou stood up in court and admitted to second-degree murder.

Read more: Kelowna court hears recording of fight between alleged murderer and victim

He later took back his guilty plea, saying that he never intended to kill Gauravarapu.

Defence lawyer Donna Turko argued that Danjou should have been found guilty of manslaughter.

He had been suffering from delusions and believed Gauravarapu was having an affair, Turko said.

”I’m very sorry for what has happened, the people I hurt,” Danjou said prior to sentencing.

“It’s ironic I had to come to jail to get peace,” he said.

Story continues below advertisement

“Incarceration of two years has helped me immensely. I live a life full of bliss in the jail and constantly in harmony in the present moment.”

Parole ineligibility in second-degree murder cases can vary from 10 to 25 years. In the case of Danjou, the defence asked for the minimum of 10 years while the Crown called for 13 to 14 years.

— With files from Klaudia Van Emmerik, Doyle Potenteau, and Darrian Matassa-Fung