West Chester man indicted in 4 family slayings, could face death penalty

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Singh Mug Web

Gurpreet Singh (Butler County Jail)

CINCINNATI (AP) — A man has been indicted on four counts of aggravated murder in the slayings of his wife, her parents and her aunt in an apartment home in southwest Ohio, court records showed Friday.

Grand jurors also specified in each count that Gurpreet Singh used a firearm and killed more than one person, meaning he would face the death penalty if convicted.

Butler County Jail records show that Singh, 37, was booked into the jail early Friday morning after his return from Connecticut. The grand jury indictments were made public nearly eight hours later.

A message was left Friday for Singh’s attorney, Charles H. Rittgers.

Singh had been arrested July 2 in a Walmart parking lot in Branford, Connecticut.

He had called 911 on April 28 to say he found the four “on the ground and bleeding” in a West Chester apartment where he also lived, some 20 miles (32.3 kilometers) north of Cincinnati. Each of the four killed had at least two gunshot wounds in the head.

Police said there was food left on the stove, indicating the family was preparing dinner that evening when they were shot.

Police said repeatedly during the investigation that they didn’t believe the community, where such violence is rare, was under threat or that the case was a hate crime. That indicated that investigators believed the motive for the crimes was personal.

West Chester Township Police Chief Joel Herzog called the slayings a “heinous crime” but didn’t discuss details or possible motive when announcing the arrest.

Those killed were identified as Shalinderjit Kaur, 39; Amarjit Kaur, 58; Parmjit Kaur, 62, and Hakiakat Singh Pannag, 59.

Singh has said he and Shalinderjit Kaur had been married 17 years and had three children. Family members identified Parmjit and Hakiakat as his wife’s parents, and Amarjit as Parmjit’s sister.

Singh, a truck driver, told The Cincinnati Enquirer he was often away from home. Their three children were staying with other relatives at the time of the slayings, and police have said they are safe.

In a statement after Singh’s arrest, relatives of those slain said they were thankful for the efforts of West Chester police, other law enforcement agencies and the Sikh community of the Cincinnati region, and that they were praying for Singh’s conviction.

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