Four men have been charged in relation to the 2009 homicide of Kulwinder Kaur Gill of Abbotsford, including her husband Iqbal Singh Gill.
Iqbal, 49, and two others – Gurpreet Singh Atwal, 26, of Abbotsford and Jaspreet Singh Sohi, 28, of Surrey – were arrested and charged Friday with first-degree murder.
Sukhpal Singh Johal, 26, of Surrey has been charged with conspiracy to commit murder and accessory after the fact.
Kulwinder, 42, was out for a walk with her husband on the evening of April 27, 2009 when she was struck by a pickup truck in the rural area of Townshipline Road and Bell Road, east of Highway 11.
Responding officers were flagged down by her husband, who led them to a water-filled ditch where Gill had been thrown by the impact.
Police seized a suspect vehicle with signs of damage dumped on acreage several blocks away.
The incident was reported as a hit-and-run accident at the time and no further details have ever been publicly released to indicate that foul play was suspected.
Few details about the crime were released during a press conference held Monday at the Abbotsford Police Department (APD) with members of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT).
RCMP Supt. Kevin Hackett, officer in charge of IHIT, said the homicide has been “one of IHIT’s top priorities” since 2009. He said he could not discuss specifics, including how the four men knew each other.
“As this matter is now before the courts, I am unable to speak directly to the motive or discuss any evidence related to the investigation, but I can say it appears that this was well-planned and deliberate,” he said.
APD Deputy Chief Rick Lucy said local police had been to the Gill home on one occasion before Kulwinder’s death. The APD received a hang-up 911 call in February 2006 and, when they investigated, they found that a verbal altercation had occurred between the couple, Lucy said.
Iqbal currently has another set of charges before the courts in connection with a grow-op allegedly found by police in a home he owned with two others on Siskin Drive in Abbotsford.
The property was busted in March 2011, and a two-storey garage was allegedly found to contain more than 1,000 marijuana plants. Also allegedly found on the property were a handgun, a submachine gun, an assault rifle, ammunition, and $4,000 cash.
Iqbal was charged with production of a controlled substance, possession for the purpose of trafficking, unauthorized possession of a firearm, fraudulently consuming electricity or gas, and two counts of unauthorized possession of a firearm without a licence.
Two other men, ages 19 and 23, were also charged. The trio are next due to appear in Abbotsford provincial court on the matter in September.
That property became the subject of a civil forfeiture claim by the provincial government. The home has since been sold to an unrelated party in foreclosure proceedings.
The other three suspects in the homicide also have criminal records.
According to the provincial court database, Atwal has prior convictions – all in Abbotsford – for carrying a concealed weapon, assault, breach of probation, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and possessing a restricted firearm.
Sohi has prior convictions for trafficking in a controlled substance, fear of injury by another person, driving while prohibited, and breach of his bail conditions.
Johal’s only conviction is for assault with a weapon, related to an incident in Delta in June 2011.