More than two dozen people filled the benches of a second-storey New Westminster courtroom Monday to hear evidence in the case against Harjot Singh Deo – the man charged with second-degree murder in the death of Surrey teen Bhavkiran Dhesi.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Laura Gerow heard arguments against and for granting Deo release from custody from Crown David Simpkin and defence counsel Vincent Michaels.
Due to a publication ban, however, the evidence presented cannot be disclosed, and Gerow cautioned those in the gallery – who included family members of both Dhesi and Deo – against tweeting or sharing any of what they heard.
A clean-shaven Deo, 21, sat in the prisoners’ box at the back of the courtroom, separated from the gallery by a glass wall.
He has been in custody since his arrest in May at Vancouver airport in connection with Dhesi’s August 2017 death.
The 19-year-old’s body was found around 12:20 a.m. Aug. 2, 2017, after emergency crews responded to a burned SUV in the 18700-block of 24 Avenue in South Surrey.
Police have said she and Deo had been in a romantic relationship, and that Dhesi had “recently recovered from a kidney transplant.”
In the months since Deo’s arrest, four others have been charged in connection with Dhesi’s death – his mother, brother, sister and cousin. As well, an additional charge of ‘indecently interfere with or offer an indignity to human remains’ was announced against Harjot Deo in June.
All of the other four accused have been granted bail.
This week’s proceedings are set to continue on Thursday.