Tejwant Danjou is expected to be sentenced to life in prison today (Sept. 14) for the second-degree murder of Rama Gauravarapu, his common-law spouse, in a West Kelowna hotel room in July 2018.
While the life sentence is a forgone conclusion with a second-degree murder conviction, parole eligibility is not. Today’s sentencing hearing will determine how long Danjou will serve before becoming eligible for parole — anywhere between 10 and 25 years.
Last month, BC Supreme Court Justice Allison Beames convicted Danjou of second-degree murder for Gauravarapu’s death.
Danjou admitted as trial began in February that he dealt the deadly blows to Gauravarapu on July 22, 2018, even entering a surprise guilty plea as trial commenced in late February.
The following day, Danjou recanted that plea, claiming that while he admits to killing Gauravarapu, he did not possess the intent required for a second-degree murder conviction. His defence sought a conviction on the lesser charge of manslaughter, claiming he was mentally unwell and not able to form intent.
In her decision on Aug. 13, Beames said the Crown proved Danjou’s intent beyond a reasonable doubt. She told the court of the tragically faltered relationship the couple had, which on multiple occasions resulted in Gauravarapu being beaten or threatened and the gruesome injuries she suffered at the hands of her partner, both on the night of her death and in the months prior.
“The evidence supports the conclusion that Mr. Danjou’s actions — before, during and after the offence — were purposeful and goal-directed,” Beames said.
The court heard that Danjou’s attack on Gauravarapu was prolonged and involved a significant application of force, causing 52 separate areas of injury, mostly to her head and neck.
The sentencing hearing commences at 10 a.m. this morning. This story will be updated with further information as the proceedings continue.
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