Co-accused in Batalia murder was ‘eyes and ears’ for her killer: Crown

Trial of Gursimar Singh Bedi begins in B.C. Supreme Court, a day after murderer Gary Dhaliwal was sentenced.

Maple Batalia

The Surrey RCMP officer who was first on scene on the night Maple Batalia was murdered struggled to maintain his composure as he recalled what he saw that night four-and-a-half years ago.

Const. Daniel Johnson was testifying at the trial of Gursimar Singh Bedi, who is charged with manslaughter with a gun and accessory after the fact in connection with Batalia’s shooting on Sept. 28, 2011.

Johnson said he was patrolling in Whalley alone when he received the call of shots fired. The location was vague, but he eventually headed into the parkade beside SFU Surrey. Two people directed him toward the mall and SFU entrance.

Johnson got out of his car and walked toward two vehicles – one red and one white.

“I noted a body laying between the two vehicles,” he said, pausing to control his emotions.

Johnson was one of two RCMP officers to testify in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster Tuesday morning, the first day of Bedi’s trial.

Bedi’s co-accused, Gurjinder (“Gary”) Dhaliwal, was sentenced the day prior to life in prison with no chance of parole for 21 years after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in Batalia – his ex-girlfriend’s – death.

Johnson said upon seeing Batalia’s body, he called out, but there was no response. Seeing a lot of blood, he donned some gloves and shook the teen. Again, there was no response.

Johnson checked for a pulse, to no avail, and began resuscitation attempts. He rode in the ambulance to Royal Columbian Hospital, where he accompanied Batalia to the operating room. It was there he heard doctors pronounce her dead.

The Crown contends that while Dhaliwal was the one to shoot Batalia three times and slash her numerous times with a knife, it was Bedi who rented the car that laid in wait outside SFU. It was also Bedi who tracked Batalia and reported her whereabouts to her killer, claimed Crown prosecutor Brad Kielmann.

“In doing so, Mr. Bedi served as the eyes and ears of Mr. Dhaliwal,” Kielmann said, alleging Bedi also cleaned the car at a car wash before returning it to the rental company.

The first witness to take the stand at Bedi’s trial was Sgt. Allison Cameron, a forensic identification officer. She testified she found bullet casings and a knife at the crime scene and also examined a white Dodge Charger linked to the murder. Inside the car she found a receipt from a car wash, a blood stain on a headlight control dial and a stain on the driver’s side sun visor. There was also a bullet casing lodged under the hood of the car, Cameron said.

Bedi, wearing a grey suit, with dark short hair and beard, and dark-rimmed glasses, listened to the proceedings from the glass prisoner’s box. He is not in custody.

The trial was expected to continue through the week. The Crown planned to call a third police investigator, as well as two cellphone company representatives, to testify.

Just Posted

‘Speed dating’ all-candidates meeting in Surrey zeroes in on homelessness and housing

Candidates mingle with residents at tables with various topics, in 10-minute intervals

Partial lane closures for Port Mann Tuesday, Wednesday nights

Drivers can expect delays during maintenance work: Mainroad

Surrey man drops one-kilo brick of cocaine as cops arrest him outside his house

Amanpreet Singh Gill serving two years less a day for possessing cocaine for purpose of trafficking

North Delta library featuring local artist in new exhibit

Internationally-renowned artist Jarnail Singh will have his art on display until Nov. 22

South Surrey pet blessing event to be held Sunday

All animals welcome to be blessed by Peninsula United Church

VIDEO: More cameras, police coming after Marissa Shen killed in Burnaby park

B.C. privacy watchdog worries that the cameras are a ‘slow creep’ to a surveillance state

Arborist killed by fallen tree at Maple Ridge Golf Course

Was working near the 9th tee box of the golf course.

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

Abbotsford raccoon dies from injuries suffered in a trap

Wildlife protection group offering $1,000 reward for information about incident

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

Most Read