A former Surrey real estate agent has been found guilty of second-degree murder in the killing of his common-law spouse in a West Kelowna hotel room two years ago.
The late Rama Gauravarapu’s friends and family filled the courtroom with quiet sobs as B.C. Supreme Court Justice Allison Beames delivered her verdict on Thursday, Aug. 13.
She ruled that Tejwant Danjou, 71, had the requisite intent to be convicted of murder for the Gauravarapu’s death.
Whether or not Danjou killed Gauravarapu was never the question through this trial — his intent to do so was.
He admitted from the beginning that he dealt the deadly blows to Gauravarapu on July 22, 2018, even entering a surprise guilty plea as trial commenced in late February.
The following day, Danjou recanted that plea, claiming that while he admits to killing Gauravarapu, he did not possess the requisite intent for a second-degree murder conviction. Defence instead sought a conviction on the lesser charge of manslaughter, claiming he was mentally unwell and not able to form intent.
Beames stated Crown proved Danjou possessed that intent beyond a reasonable doubt.
In her decision, Beames told the court of the tragically faltered relationship the couple had, which on multiple occasions resulted in Gauravarapu being beaten or threatened and the gruesome injuries she suffered at the hands of her partner, both on the night of her death and in the months prior.
“The evidence supports the conclusion that Mr. Danjou’s actions — before, during and after the offence — were purposeful and goal-directed,” Beames said.
The court heard that Danjou’s attack on Gauravarapu was prolonged and involved a significant application of force, causing 52 separate areas of injury – most to her head and neck.
Gauravarapu’s friends and family filled the courtroom with quiet sobs throughout the morning proceedings.
Convicted of second-degree murder, Danjou will face an immediate life sentence. A sentencing hearing set for Sept. 14 will determine how long he’ll serve before becoming eligible for parole, between a minimum of 10 years to a maximum of 25.
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