A Butler County judge denied bond on Monday for the man accused of killing four family members in West Chester in April.
During the hearing, Gurpreet Singh fell over at the podium and appeared to pass out before he was helped into a chair by deputies. The 37-year-old former West Chester Twp. man was handcuffed and shackled for the brief court appearance.
When prosecutors and Singh’s defense attorney Charles H. Rittgers were talking with the Judge Greg Howard at a side bar, Singh swayed then fell to the floor.
Deputies rushed to help him up and placed him in a chair. The judge asked him if a was alright to continue, and Singh answered “yes.”
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The appearance was Singh’s first in an Ohio court after his arrest in Connecticut last month.
Rittgers said Singh declined transport to a hospital and was taken back to the jail
Singh was indicted by a Butler County grand jury on Friday on four counts of aggravated murder from the April 28 incident. With specifications of using a firearm and killing two or more persons, Singh faces the death penalty if convicted.
During the arraignment, Singh pleaded not guilty and waived the formal reading of the lengthy indictment. However, Howard ordered the indictment be read in open court.
Rittgers pointed out his client is a citizen of the United States and has been in constant contact with him, even when he moved to Indiana. The warrants related to the investigation include an Indianapolis address for Singh.
“When he was arrested, he was in Connecticut for a wedding that had been planned for a year,” Rittgers said, adding Singh has no prior criminal record and has surrendered his passport.
“We ask the court set a reasonable bond,” Rittgers told the judge.
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But due to the seriousness of the charges, Assistant Prosecutor Josh Muennich requested “significant” bond.
Howard agreed with the prosecution, noting the four charges that include a death penalty specification and denied bond.
Singh spent four weeks incarcerated in Connecticut after being arrested there on initial charges and warrants signed by the West Chester Police department. He was transported from Connecticut and booked into the Butler County Jail early Friday morning.
Rittgers said Friday that Singh is “absolutely not guilty.”
Singh retained Rittgers to represent him after West Chester police requested a second round of questioning, the attorney said. That is when Singh became concerned he was a suspect, despite being let go by detectives.
“They took him to back to the station immediately after he called 911 and after he discovered the body of his wife and his in-laws. They took him from the scene back to the station and interrogated him for six or seven hours and let him go at four or five in the morning,” Rittgers said.
Singh 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.
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