Singh found guilty in Butler County quadruple homicide trial

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Three Butler County judges found Gurpreet Singh guilty Friday of four counts of aggravated murder with a death specification for killing his wife and three other family members in 2019 in their West Chester Twp. apartment.

He will now face the death penalty in the sentencing phase of the trial, which will begin Monday.

The verdicts were read about 2 p.m. Friday. The three-judge panel comprised of Judges Greg Howard, Greg Stephens and Keith Spaeth began their deliberations about 11:30 a.m. after hearing closing arguments in the morning.

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

Following nine days of testimony, the Butler County Common Pleas judges heard 90 minutes of closing arguments in the super courtroom.

The 41-year-old former truck driver was 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. on April 28, 2019.

“They were alive until the defendant came home,” Assistant Butler County Prosecutor Josh Muennich said during closing.

He said Singh set the stage for the murders, carrying them out in the dark of night, calling off work the day before, making sure his three young children were out of the residence and using a gun with with the serial number removed loaded with hollow point bullets.

“Then he started with the person he liked least (Hakikat), working way through (the house) shooting them all in the head,” Muennich said.

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.

In addition to forensic evidence showing Singh had his wife’s blood on his clothes when police arrive and his hand tested positive for gunshot residue, there where his “lies,” Muennich said.

He asked if an innocent man “who watched someone butcher his family would thoroughly lie to the police?”

Singh did not tell police about his affair or financial issues or that he had witnessed the shooting, as the defense claims.

“At any point this defendant could have told the police he was present during the shootings, but he didn’t,” Muennich said.

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.

“Covered in the warm blood of family he lied ant decided to say he had just gotten home,” Muennich said. ‘The defendant lied to protect himself.”

The defense pointed to the lies Singh told as the reason he is on trial, not because he is guilty.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Attorney Alexandra Deardorff projected on the courtroom screen “Gurpreet is Not Guilty.” during closing arguments. Also show were happy and comical photos of Singh taken from wife’s phone that showed nearly daily calls between the couple when he was on the road as evidence the couple’s relationship was not strained despite the affair.

Deardorff said Singh did lie to police and police took the investigation no further.

“Gurpreet may have been scared by something more for police,” she said.

Deardorff said the cash and car given to the mistress were loans and couched the relationship that neither were unhappy with at the time of the murders.

Singh also bought a house in his mistress’ neighborhood.

“Why buy a house, if you planned to move in with your mistress?” Deardorff said.

The defense pointed to a man with a criminal record who was in a land dispute with Hakikat as the person responsible for the slayings. They also noted no blood spatter on his hand and arms after such a bloody scene and a witness who said he had seen a man in a hoodie running toward the woods after hearing gunshots on the night of the murders.

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