Judge denies motion to suppress evidence in West Chester quadruple homicide case

Common Pleas Judge Greg Howard said no forceful police tactics were used when questioning Gurpreet Singh.

HAMILTON ― Statements to law enforcement will be permitted in the 2021 trial for a West Chester Twp. man charged with killing four members of his family last year.

Butler County Common Pleas Judge Greg Howard filed a written decision this week denying the defense’s motion to suppress statements made by Gurpreet Singh.

Singh, 38, is charged with four counts of aggravated murder for the April 28, 2019 homicides. With specifications of using a firearm and killing two or more persons, Singh faces the death penalty if convicted.

Singh is accused of killing his wife, Shalinderjit Kaur, 39; his in-laws, Hakikat Singh Pannag, 59, and Parmjit Kaur, 62; and his aunt by marriage, Amarjit Kaur, 58, at their residence on Wyndtree Drive. All died of gunshot wounds.

The hearing for a motion to suppress evidence and statements by Singh filed by the defense team began back on March 6 with a day-long court session. Singh trial originally scheduled for September has been rescheduled for May 3, 2021.

After two postponements due to coronavirus concerns, the spring hearing continued in August.

The defense team of Rittgers and Rittgers argued Singh’s rights were violated when he was questioned while handcuffed outside the scene and at the police station. But prosecutors say Singh was handcuffed for about 10 minutes for officer safety and as a witness when they found him bloody in the stairwell of the apartment building.

Howard said in his ruling no coercive law enforcement tactics were used by police when questioning Singh.

“The defendant was in fact read his Miranda warnings after police obviously became concerned that the defendant may be less than forthcoming about his involvement in these homicides,” Howard wrote in the opinion.

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