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“If the application is successful, that is to say, that the guilty plea is withdrawn, I would think it makes imminent sense to start the trial effectively as quickly as possible,” said BC Supreme Court Justice Alison Beames.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

Police watchdog investigating fatal crash in Kelowna

Kelowna RCMP received a report of a single-vehicle collision on Bulman Road near Highway 97 on June 1

Kelowna council greenlights ‘The Wedge’

The wedge-shaped building will be built at the corner of Leon Avenue and Water Street

Single vehicle rollover on Clifton Road

The incident happened just after 5 p.m. on Wednesday in Kelowna

Province looks to seize Kelowna home owned by alleged drug trafficker

Michelle Collins and Nigel Byrne were also recently investigated by Kelowna RCMP for drug trafficking

Oyama Zipline Adventure Park opening for the season

The Lake Country zipline is scheduled to open on June 12

WATCH: North Okanagan golf cart stolen, then returned

Homeowners have footage of two men taking the cart and then bringing it back

Vehicle stolen in Revelstoke recovered near Salmon Arm after occupants suffer overdoses

Police say they were alerted to the vehicle after occupants treated by ambulance after drug use

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Highway 1 closed after body found near Hope

Coroners Service reportedly on the scene, highway has been closed for 10 hours in both directions

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

LETTER: Questions raised about Summerland property taxes

Dear Editor: By now property owners in Summerland will have received their… Continue reading

COLUMN: Is parliament essential?

We need time to dig into the books and ensure that taxpayers are being respected

Sicamous RCMP catch driver going twice the speed limit

The car was impounded for seven days and the driver received a hefty fine

Most Read