Abbotsford man on trial for killing sister

Defence lawyer will argue that Harmohinder Khosa is not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder.

An Abbotsford man has admitted to killing his sister, but his trial began on Monday to determine whether he is criminally responsible for the act.

Harmohinder Khosa, 43, stood in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster to enter a plea of not guilty.

“The crux of the case is going to be that Mr. Khosa was suffering from a disease of the mind, and that disease of the mind made him incapable to appreciate his actions … whether he was in a position to understand whether what he was doing was right or wrong,” said Brij Mohan, Khosa’s lawyer.

“Yes, he killed the victim.”

Khosa was charged in March 2011 with the second-degree murder of his sister, Amarjit Khosa, 34.

She was found dead in her basement suite in the 32000 block of Austin Avenue in Abbotsford.

Her cause of death has never been released to the public, and investigators at the time said the matter was not related to drugs, gangs or organized crime.

Mohan and Crown counsel Simon Thomson were prepared to present their agreed “statement of facts” in court Monday morning.

But Justice Miriam Maisonville requested that the written form of the statement – which forms one of the trial exhibits – be condensed to ensure that only admissible evidence is included.

The “statement of facts” – which would include how Khosa died – was possibly going to be presented Monday afternoon.

Thomson said evidence to be presented during the trial includes three statements that Khosa made to police – including admissions that he killed his sister – and the testimony of two psychiatrists.

Khosa will possibly take the stand in his own defence.

If Khosa is found not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder, he will have a hearing before the B.C. Review Board to determine whether he receives an absolute discharge, a discharge with conditions, or detention in a psychiatric hospital.

If he is found criminally responsible, he receives an automatic life sentence with parole eligibility set at between 10 and 25 years.

Khosa has been out on bail since May 2011, two months after he was arrested and charged.