Surrey man gets life for co-worker’s murder

Gurpal Singh Brar killed his former friend in 2006.

A fight between two employees of this Richmond cabinet making business ended with the stabbing death of 30-year-old Sukhjit Singh Johal of Surrey in May of 2006.

A fight between two employees of this Richmond cabinet making business ended with the stabbing death of 30-year-old Sukhjit Singh Johal of Surrey in May of 2006.

A 32-year-old Surrey man has been convicted of second-degree murder in the death of a co-worker at an East-Richmond cabinet-making firm five years ago.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Sunni Stromberg-Stein found Gurpal Singh Brar guilty late last month of the May 2006 death of Sukhjit Singh Johal, 30.

Brar was automatically sentenced to life in prison, but is eligible to apply for parole after 10 years, according to the court registry.

Brar and Johal had been friends for several years, and once carpooled to work together from Surrey to Richmond.

A few months prior to the fatal stabbing, they got into an argument about their carpooling arrangement, and afterward stopped driving to work together.

And though they both continued to work at Nickels Custom Cabinets, they stopped speaking to one another.

This was Brar’s third trial, after the verdicts from two previous trials were overturned by the B.C. Court of Appeal.

During trial, the court heard that the May 12, 2006 battle started after Johal looked at him in “an unpleasant way.”

Johal was seriously injured during the fight and died later that day in hospital.

An autopsy revealed Johal had been stabbed three times with a three-inch blade, once in his left arm, once in the chest and once in the heart.

– by Martin van den Hemel, with files from Dan Ferguson