Man jailed for murder of Vancouver girlfriend wants to withdraw his guilty plea

  • Vancouver Desi, None, Vancouver
  • Updated: Sep 18, 2014 19:00 IST

A man who spent 12 years on the lam before being convicted in the fatal shooting of his teenage girlfriend wants to withdraw his guilty plea.

Ninderjit Singh says that the plea entered in BC Supreme Court for the 1999 second-degree murder of 18-year-old Poonam Randhawa was not voluntary or unequivocal.

In a notice filed in the BC Court of Appeal against the conviction and sentence, he claims that Justice Bruce Butler erred in several ways, including failing to make an adequate inquiry before accepting the guilty plea.

Singh is seeking to have the plea set aside and a new trial ordered, but if the plea is not set aside, he wants his period of parole ineligibility reduced to 10 years from 16 years.

Singh received the mandatory sentence of life in prison with no parole eligibility for 16 years. He was initially charged with first-degree murder, which carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no parole for 25 years.

In a separate notice filed in the BC Court of Appeal, the Crown says that if a new trial is ordered, prosecutors should be allowed to try him on the original first-degree murder count.

Singh’s application is scheduled to be heard before a three-member panel of the Appeal Court on Wednesday.

A jilted boyfriend, Singh stalked the beautiful, bubbly girl and physically assaulted her shortly before the murder, court heard.

He shot her once in the head before fleeing to California, where he took up a new life. He altered his appearance, obtained a new identity with the aid of his family, married and had two kids.

Several times, police nearly caught him, but he managed to evade justice. Finally, police launched an undercover operation against him and he was arrested in August 2011 and extradited back to Canada.

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