Defense calls one witness in quadruple homicide trial; closings set for Friday

Nine days of testimony and evidence presentation in the quadruple murder retrial of Gurpreet Singh ended Thursday with the defense calling one witness and the defendant opting not to take the stand.

The 41-year-old former truck driver is accused of shooting 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. in April 2019.

The defense and prosecution agree Singh was there as his family members were shot to death; the prosecutors say he was the killer, and the defense says he was a witness.

The motive, according to prosecutors, was Singh’s mistress and money disputes with his father-in-law. That drove Singh to commit the murder after assuring his three children were out of the apartment with his cousins, prosecutors allege. And Singh never told anyone he had witnessed the murders — not police, not other family members.

But the defense pointed to an ongoing continuous dispute Hakikat had over land in India with at least one person with a criminal past as the reason for the family’s’ slaying.

Calixto Hernandez was the only defense witness, testifying via Zoom from Kentucky.

Hernandez lived in the Wyntree Drive apartments on April 28, 2019, the night of the murders. He said he heard gunshots and someone “running into the trees.”

He said the person was dressed in a hoodie and was running fast.

During cross examination Assistant Butler County Prosecutor Jon Marshall asked Hernandez if he remembered telling police on the night of the murders the had not heard any suspicious noises such as gunshots.

“I don’t remember what I said to then to be honest,” Hernandez said.

Before resting its case, Singh was quizzed by the three-judge panel to ensure he was voluntarily giving up his right to testify in his own defense.

“Yes, sir,” Singh answered.

Closing arguments are slated for Friday, then the judges will begin deliberation.

On Tuesday, the woman at the center of what the prosecution says is motive for Singh to kill his family took the stand, stating she had an affair with Singh for two years leading up to the murders.

Navkiran Kaur, 37, who still lives in the same Indianapolis house Singh helped finance, testified she began an intimate relationship with the defendant after her divorce in 2017. She knew Singh was married and had three children.

The three-judge panel comprised of Judges Greg Howard, Greg Stephens and Keith Spaeth are weighing the evidence this time around. Singh’s first trial ended in a hung jury in October 2022.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

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