A man charged with shooting and killing his wife, in-laws and a fourth family member in April at their West Chester Twp. home was questioned for hours by police after the incident while in shock, according to his defense attorney.
Gurpreet Singh appeared before a Connecticut judge last week and waived his right to further proceedings on the arrest warrants from Ohio on four counts of aggravated murder. He was in Connecticut to attend a wedding with his children, according to his attorney, Charles H. Rittgers.
A public defender who represented Singh at the Connecticut hearing said he desired to waive extradition. Singh did not enter a plea, but the public defender indicated Singh told him he was innocent of the charges, according to news reports.
“As far as I am concerned, he is innocent,” Rittgers said.
The high-profile area attorney was retained by Singh two days after the April 28 murders. According to court documents filed Tuesday in county Area I Court, Rittgers will remain on the case.
Singh remains housed in a Connecticut jail awaiting law enforcement officials to bring him back to Butler County to stand trial. Officials have declined to say when the transport will happen. Rittgers said he does not know why there is a delay.
He said he is also eager to see what evidence there may be against his client, especially because West Chester police released him after extensive questioning.
“Immediately after discovering his loved ones dead they (police) interrogated him for (hours), releasing him at four or five in the morning,” Rittgers said.
When police wanted a second round of questioning, Singh decided to hire an attorney.
“He was in shock,” Rittgers said. “His whole family was dead.”
Singh, 37, is the man who called 911 at about 9:40 p.m. on the night of April 28 screaming that he had found his family dead, according to police. Rittgers said Singh had last seen his family alive about 6 p.m. when he left to work on his truck.
Singh is accused of the killing his wife, Shalinderjit Kaur, 39; his in-laws, Hakikat Singh Pannag, 59, and Parmjit Kaur, 62; and his aunt by marriage, Amarjit Kaur, 58, at their apartment on Wyndtree Drive. All died of gunshot wounds.
Rittgers said Singh told him there was forced entry to the apartment.
“Who would do this, is what he (Singh) said,” Rittgers said.
Singh told Rittgers that his father-in-law, who worked at a gas station, had a conflict with some people sometime before the shootings and was assaulted.
“(Singh) said it might be a revenge killing,” Rittgers said.
Singh is a truck driver and has been in the country since 2002, according to Rittgers
According to court documents, the victims were all shot in the head with a 9mm handgun. Police have declined to elaborate on the weapon or weapons involved in the shooting. Police searched a pond at the apartment complex on Wyndtree Dive and did recover evidence, but they have also declined to say if it was the murder weapon.
Singh, who has an Indianapolis address listed on the warrants, was arrested in a Connecticut parking lot. He is charged with four counts of aggravated murder, which could carry the possibility of the death penalty.
Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said the case will be presented directly to a grand jury. The grand jury would also have to determine if the crimes warrant a death specification.
Thank you for reading the Journal-News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Journal-News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.