A Surrey man accused of murdering his common-law wife was violent and angry during an argument between the two at an Okanagan winery just hours before she was killed, according to witness testimony heard in BC Supreme Court in Kelowna on March 9.
Tejwant Danjou is facing trial for a second-degree murder charge related to the death of Rama Gauravarapu in their West Kelowna hotel room on July 22, 2018.
Bryan Van, a driver who takes tourists between Okanagan wineries, took the stand on Monday to tell the court what he saw at Mission Hill Family Estate earlier that same day.
After dropping off his passengers around 3 p.m., Van stayed near the entrance area of the winery waiting for the people he dropped off to finish a quick one-hour tour.
While passing time and people-watching Van saw a man and a woman, whom he later identified as Danjou and Gauravarapu, having an argument.
Although too far away to hear what they were discussing, Van said he saw Danjou “violently” grab Gauravarapu’s sunglasses off of her face.
“It looked like he slapped them off her face,” he said.
After this, Gauravarapu went to sit down at some nearby tables, while Danjou went to lean on a nearby wishing well. There, Van said, he heard Danjou muttering some unsavoury words about his partner.
“‘F—king c—t; f—king b—ch.’ Harsh, harsh words,” he said, adding Danjou was staring intensely at Gauravarapu.
Van said the two eventually returned to the same spot they were arguing before, where Danjou was “right up in (Gauravarapu’s) face.”
After another brief argument, Danjou took his own sunglasses, threw them on the ground and stomped on them, Van testified.
He said Gauravarapu calmly knelt down and picked up the pieces of the glasses.
“She looked calm — not happy — but sombre and calm,” he said.
Van eventually found his passengers and went back to his car. He said Danjou approached the car and stuck his head in, thinking it was an Uber he had called.
“His eyes stuck out to me. They were bloodshot,” he said.
Van left with his passengers, attended a couple of other wineries and returned them to the Best Western — the same hotel Danjou and Gauravarapu were staying at — around 8 p.m.
He testified he saw ambulances and police cars upon his return.
While Van didn’t think much of it, his wife scoured local news websites over the next few days to see what had happened.
When RCMP announced Danjou had been charged, the two Googled his name out of curiosity.
“I saw a Realtor from Surrey who looked just like the guy I’d saw at the winery,” he said.
The trial continues.