Accused killer hid in dumpster of West Kelowna hotel after allegedly bludgeoning wife | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Accused killer hid in dumpster of West Kelowna hotel after allegedly bludgeoning wife

Kelowna Law Courts
March 02, 2020 - 12:58 PM

The Surrey man accused of bludgeoning his wife to death in a West Kelowna hotel hid in a nearby dumpster after the alleged attack, Kelowna court heard Monday.

Tejwant Danjou, who’s charged with the second degree murder of Rama Gauravarapu, was found when Mounties followed a blood trail to the dumpster, Const. Bradley Hartridge testified Monday, March 2. Once found, the 69-year-old claimed to be stuck within, but wasn’t in distress.

“He spoke in a clear voice, he was understandable, he was stating he couldn’t get out of the dumpster … I completely understood him, he didn’t seem agitated,” Hartridge said to B.C. Supreme Court Justice Alison Beames.

“I asked if he had weapons, and he said ‘no,’ it was easily understandable. When I asked if he could stand up so I could take photos of him, he could hear me and he co-operated very easily.”

Hartridge said he was with Danjou for 40 minutes the night of July 22, 2018, starting at around 10 p.m.

Once police removed him from the dumpster, and Hartridge talked to Danjou about where he had been.

“He was trying to describe where he’d been earlier that day, he said he was up on the mountain up on the hill…,” Hartridge said.

“I had said, ‘Mission Hill Winery?’ and he had said, ‘yes, this is where I was today.’ He said it in a clear voice, very understandable, very calm manner.”

While Hartridge indicated that Danjou had his wits about him while he was with him, he did agree at some point that he had stated some difficulty in understanding what was happening.

About what, however, was subject to debate.

The court heard today that the RCMP officer with Hartridge had read Danjou his Charter rights told him he was charged with homicide.

In response, Hartridge recalled Danjou saying he didn’t understand what homicide was.

Defence lawyer Donna Turko asked him to revisit pretrial testimony where he hadn’t specified that Danjou didn’t know what homicide was and had only said “I do not understand” in a very tired way.

Hartridge said he had in fact meant that he didn’t understand what homicide was, not what his rights were.

Further highlighting Danjou’s condition, Crown counsel called Dr. Jeffrey Eppler, an emergency physician at KGH, to testify.

He said when Danjou came into the emergency ward he had a dog bite and was experiencing chest pains.

Following blood work, two slight abnormalities were found. One indicated heart and muscle cell death and the other was a sign of physical exertion.

The latter was dealt with fluid and rest. The other was of concern because it could have indicated a heart attack was in the offing. It, in the end, resolved itself also.

Dr. Eppler did take note of Danjou’s demeanour, and noted that he was subdued, offered limited eye contact and restricted his answers to questions to simple “Yes” and “nos.”

The trial is scheduled for three weeks and will continue later this afternoon.

On its original start date, Danjou pleaded guilty to second degree murder. Once he was told that the charge involved the intent to kill his partner, however, he had a change of heart and applied to withdraw his plea.

That was approved and the trial got underway again.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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