UPDATE: Trial of the man accused in West Kelowna hotel murder case is going ahead | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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UPDATE: Trial of the man accused in West Kelowna hotel murder case is going ahead

February 28, 2020 - 10:24 AM

The trial of the man charged in the 2018 killing of Rama Gauravarapu at a West Kelowna Best Western hotel started today, Feb. 28, after the judge agreed to withdraw his guilty plea.

Tejwant Danjou made a surprise guilty plea to second degree murder on Tuesday, Feb. 25. He changed his mind the next day, asking for the plea to be withdrawn.

The judge in the case agreed to the withdrawal of the plea today, noting Danjou was "in a state" when he made the guilty plea on Tuesday. The Crown did not oppose the application so the trial has started before a B.C. Supreme Court judge alone, without a jury.

His lawyer told the court that he didn’t realize that by saying he committed second degree murder that he was admitting that he intended to kill Gauravarapu.

An RCMP officer, who was called as the first witness, was called to the scene shortly after 9 p.m. on July 22, 2018 and was first to enter the room.

She saw Rama Gauravarapu laying face up on the floor with her feet pointing towards the door. Gauravarapu had two black eyes, a gash above her left eye and on both sides of her neck along with blood on her hands, on the wall and saturating the carpet. There was a broken wine bottle and broken glass on the floor along with blood stains on the bed and the inside of the door. Gauravarapu appeared to be unconscious and never did respond to efforts to communicate. No one was in the room at the time.

The Crown prosecutor said she will call evidence that there is a history of violence and jealousy by Danjou towards Gauravarapu, who were in a "spousal relationship" since Dec. 31, 2015.

Danjou was arrested July 22, 2018, after multiple calls from the Best Western hotel in the 3400 block of Carrington Road about a woman in distress.

Gauravarapu was found in her room and, despite intervention from paramedics, died that night.

The next day the crime scene extended beyond the hotel and into the parking lot of the adjacent Tim Hortons and Danjou, then 69, was charged with her murder.

Danjou had been a real estate agent until news of the murder charge was circulated and his license was suspended by the Real Estate Council of British Columbia. Gauravarapu was employed at a Surrey Royal Bank branch.

- With files from Kathy Michaels

 - Updated on Feb. 28, 2020 at 11:18 p.m. to add evidence presented at the trial.

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