A Surrey man accused of murdering his partner in West Kelowna in 2018 was confused and tired as officers told him what he was being arrested for, the court heard Monday (March 2).
Tejwant Danjou is facing second-degree murder charges related to the July 2018 death of Rama Gauravarapu in a Best Western hotel room.
Const. Bradly Hartridge took the stand for the second time in as many trial days as defence lawyer Donna Turko grilled him about a submission he gave in pre-trial. Hartridge claimed Danjou said ‘I don’t understand’ in a tired voice while Mounties told him he was being arrested for homicide and read him his charter rights.
Turko was inquisitive into whether this meant Danjou did not understand as officers read him his rights.
Hartridge dismissed the defence’s belief Danjou’s statement was in reference to the reading of his rights, saying he didn’t understand what a homicide was.
“I heard Mr. Danjou say, ‘What is homicide?’” he testified.
On July 22, 2018, West Kelowna officers arrived to the blood-spattered hotel room to find Gauravarapu lying on the floor, face swollen and dying.
On Friday, Hartridge testified he arrived to a hotel room, where he found officers already performing first aid on Gauravarapu.
He said he saw her lying on the ground with an extremely swollen face and covered in blood. A broken wine bottle laid close by.
Following a search, with the assistance of the RCMP dog service, Danjou was located in a dumpster near the crime scene.
He was subsequently pulled from the dumpster and arrested.
At the start of the trial Danjou issued an impromptu guilty plea to the second-degree murder of Gauravarapu then Danjou surprisingly applied to retract his plea the following day on Feb. 26. An appeal was granted to Danjou and trial began in BC Supreme Court in Kelowna on Friday (Feb. 28).
The trial continues.