One step closer to a resolution for a family that has said multiple times they have been waiting for justice.
A surprise second-degree murder guilty plea has been entered into the murder of Maple Batalia, gunned down at SFU Surrey’s parking lot in 2011.
After several false starts and delays, day one of Gurjinder Dhaliwal’s murder trial was over in an emotional half hour.
Dhaliwal has pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of Batalia, where it was revealed she was shot three times and attacked with a knife.
That was at the hands of a man who prosecutor Wendy Stephens described as a jealous ex-boyfriend.
“She had told him the relationship was over. She was moving on, and he didn’t want that to occur. He became enraged when he saw her with another young man who happened to be a friend.”
The plea means it’s a life sentence for Dhaliwal.
Stephens says the case against Dhaliwal was circumstantial and centred around the car he was travelling in the night she died …
“There was a shell casing under the hood which was incredibly fortuitous. It was a very, very small opening that the shell casing could have gotten into, and there it was and it matched the shell casings that were found at the scene thereby establishing that that vehicle was the one used in the shooting.”
“Later more forensic information came out that Maple Batalia’s blood was found on the headlight control and on the driver’s visor so it was absolutely proven beyond any doubt that that car was involved in the killing and it then a matter of determining who was the actual killer.””
Victim impact statements will be heard at the sentencing hearing Monday, where Crown will be asking for no parole for a period of 21 years on Monday.
Stephen says the family will finally have some closure.
“It’s over, there are no appeals, there is no possibility of a new trial being ordered, it’s over, it’s done with respect to Mr. Dhaliwal and that is to the benefit to the family.”
Dhaliwal’s friend, Gursimar Bedi still faces a charge of being an accessory after the fact in Batalia’s death.
His trial is expected to get underway next week.