Convicted West Chester family killer gets 4 death sentences plus 12 years

Gurpreet Singh, convicted of killing four family members, was formally sentenced to death times four — plus 12 years on gun specifications — in Butler County Common Pleas on Wednesday a week after the three-judge panel announced its decision.

A death warrant was signed and execution set for Nov. 27. While the date is unrealistic given the automatic appeal in capital cases and moratorium on executions in the state, Judge Greg Howard said it was formally required by law.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The 41-year-old former truck driver shot to death his wife Shalinderjit Kaur, 39; his in-laws, Hakikat Singh Pannag, 59, and Parmjit Kaur, 62; and his aunt-in-law, Amarjit Kaur, 58, inside their Wyntree Drive in West Chester Twp. on April 28, 2019. Singh’s first trial ended with a hung jury in October 2022.

He showed no emotion when the sentences were imposed. The death sentences will run concurrently and four, three-year gun specifications, one for shooting each victim, will run consecutively.

Family members of the victims who have traveled from around the country for both trials yelled in Punjabi as Singh left the courtroom.

Referring to the sentencing, they said,”Did you enjoy it? Now, go and enjoy your last meal,” according to the interpreter. Singh said nothing.

The panel comprised of Howard, Keith Spaeth and Greg Stephens deliberated about two hours before returning the unanimous death sentence decision after a day of mitigation. Singh was found guilty by the panel on May 10 following a 10-day trial.

Howard said while reading the decision, the victims were all shot execution-style, all in the head, one while asleep and one while trying to escape. In total 16 shots were fired, killing the victims while Singh had made sure his three children were out of the residence.

Then Singh called 911 and claimed he had just gotten home.

“He was found in clothing soaked in blood and blood on hands,” Howard said in the sentencing statement.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Defense attorneys Alexandra Deardorff and Mark Wieczorek left the courtroom without comment.

After the sentence decision on May 14, Ajaib Singh, whose sisters were killing by Singh, said he agreed with the four death sentences.

“I know it is symbolic, but it is right,” he said.

Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said any comments made by defense attorneys that this defendant is somehow innocent, “well that train has left the station.”

He said, “The judges followed the evidence, they followed the law and they did their job.”

Singh’s first trial ended in a hung jury in Oct. 2022.

The last person to receive the death penalty in Butler County was in 2010 when Calvin McKelton was sentenced to death for the execution-style shooting of a witness who saw him strangle his girlfriend, Fairfield attorney Margaret “Missy” Allen.

Howard, then a defense attorney, represented McKelton.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Prosecutors drove home Singh’s financial disputes with his father-in-law, a long standing affair with a woman in Indiana and his dwindling bank accounts after giving that mistress $20,000 to buy a house in Indianapolis and providing a car for her with insurance.

According to GPS records, Singh was also in the parking lot of the apartment complex 29 minutes before he called 911 at about 9:40 p.m. He also lied about the telling the 911 dispatcher he had just gotten home, according to prosecutors.

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