Surrey man charged with murder in West Kelowna tries to change guilty plea

Following an shocking guilty plea on Feb. 25, Tejwant Danjou applied to retract that plea on Feb. 26

A Surrey man accused of a 2018 West Kelowna murder shocked a Kelowna court twice this week.

Following an impromptu guilty plea to the second-degree murder of Surrey resident Rama Gauravarapu on Feb. 25, Tejwant Danjou surprisingly applied to retract his plea the following day on Feb. 26.

His lawyer, Donna Turko, said Danjou didn’t realize a guilty plea meant he admitted he intended to kill Gauravarapu.

“When I went in with a set of admissions to sign … he refused to sign the admissions particular with the part that says he intended to kill the victim,” she said.

Crown counsel Michael Lefebure called the application “very serious,” saying Danjou’s plea and the first day’s proceedings were careful and in line with the requirements of the criminal code.

A hearing is scheduled for the morning of Feb. 28 for the application to remove the plea.

“If the application is successful, that is to say, that the guilty plea is withdrawn, I would think it makes imminent sense to start the trial effectively as quickly as possible,” said BC Supreme Court Justice Alison Beames.

“If there’s a ruling that the guilty plea is not to be set aside, then I would expect to proceed in a timely fashion to sentencing.”

Beames also asked the lawyers to keep their schedules open for the proceedings to continue one way or another following Friday’s application.

Danjou was arrested on July 22, 2018, after police were called to the Best Western hotel in the 3400-block of Carrington Road following a report of a woman in need of assistance.

Police said the woman, later identified as Gauravarapu, died that night and Danjou, who was 69 years old at the time, was charged with killing her.

According to the RCMP, the two were known to each other and a code used on Danjou’s court file is reserved for cases where the victim and accused are in, or were previously in, a close and personal or intimate relationship.

Gauravarapu was a financial planner at a Surrey Royal Bank branch for 20 years.

Danjou was a real estate agent and after he was charged his real estate licence was suspended by the Real Estate Council of British Columbia.

Further circumstances regarding Gauravarapu’s death have yet to be revealed.

READ MORE: Surrey man pleads guilty on first day of West Kelowna murder trial


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC Supreme Court

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta man’s body recovered from Okanagan Lake after five-day search

‘The depth of the water, as well as the topography of the lake, made the recovery of the deceased very challenging’ - RCMP

Rose Valley Dam wildfire ‘under control’

B.C. Wildfire anticipates no further growth from the three-hectare fire

Central Okanagan residents invited to give input on regional transport plan

The plan will help Central Okanagan governments work together to connect people and places across the region

Okanagan set for thunderstorms before sunny weekend

Thunderstorms are predicted to give way to a hot, sunny weekend around Kelowna

Body of 21-year-old man found in Okanagan Lake

BC Coroners Service is investigating the circumstances of the man’s death

B.C. doctors, dentists call on province for mandatory mask rule

Open letter says masks should be worn in indoor public spaces, public transportation or in crowds

Merritt man arrested after allegedly touching children inappropriately

Skylar Mcleod, 24, is facing six charges, including one for sexual interference

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Facebook launches its new TikTok clone, Instagram Reels

Facebook has a long tradition of cloning competitive services

Masks urged for some students returning to Vernon schools

Phase two sees students return full-time Sept. 8

B.C. Appeal Court prevents Victoria woman from using the term ‘death midwife’ in her job

Pashta MaryMoon claimed she had been providing “death-care services” for more than 40 years

COLUMN: COVID-19 contact tracing app offers innovative approach

App designed to help monitor spread of pandemic in Canada

‘We all have anxieties’: B.C.’s top doctor addresses return-to-school fears amid COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry promises school restart plan safe for B.C. kids

Most Read