Ottawa: An Indo-Canadian man has been sentenced to seven years in prison for ‘accidentally’ killing and then attempting to burn the body of his Sikh girlfriend in Surrey.
Harjot Deo, 25, pleaded guilty to fatally shooting Bhavkiran (Kiran) Dhesi, 19, on August 1, 2017. He was initially charged with second-degree murder.
Dhesi’s remains were discovered in a burned-out SUV in the 18700 block of 24 Avenue in Surrey the next day. Police say Deo had been in a relationship with Bhavkiran.
He was arrested at the Vancouver International Airport in May 2019 and charged a month after.
BC Supreme Court judge Jeanne Watchuck said Deo, then 19, accidentally shot Bhavkiran Dhesi, 19, in the head, put her body in her SUV, drove to an isolated road and set the vehicle ablaze.
The sentence is five years for manslaughter and two for the indignity charges to be served consecutively as they were two separate occurrences, Watchuck said.
Deo, who was involved in the drug trade, pulled the gun out of his sweatpants and the firearm discharged. One bullet struck Dhesi in the head and she died instantly, local media reports said.
Watchuck, in her judgement added that “the most aggravating factor in the case was Deo’s extremely reckless use of a firearm”.
Deo told his psychiatrist that he did not call 911 after killing Dhesi because of his drug involvement and fear of police.
He called an acquaintance instead of calling an ambulance.
“I would like to apologize to Kiran’s family,” Deo said as he stood in front of the prisoner’s dock.
His family members, including brother Gurvinder, mother and sister and another relative, Talwinder Khun Khun, were also charged for covering up the crime.
Dhesi’s family was unhappy with the verdict and added that they would like to have seen “at least” 20 years.
She was a student at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and had received a kidney transplant six months before her death.