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Tejwant Danjou will face sentencing March 13 for murder charge

Surprise murder guilty plea

UPDATE: 2:45 p.m.

Friday, Mar. 13 has been set as the tentative date for Tejwant Danjou's sentencing in his murder trial.

Danjou plead guilty Tuesday morning to the second-degree murder of Rama Gauravarapu in July 2018.

The specific circumstances of the murder have not yet been revealed, but lawyers will reconvene Wednesday morning to submit an agreed set of facts regarding the case.

ORIGINAL: 10:40 a.m.

A shocking turn of events took place on the opening day of Tejwant Danjou's murder trial in Kelowna.

Danjou entered a plea of guilty to second-degree murder, surprising both the prosecution and defence lawyers.

As he stated his guilty plea, his lawyers attempted to correct him, telling the court his plea was, in fact, not guilty.

Danjou then reiterated his intention to enter a guilty plea, telling the court "I am guilty, I am sure." 

The surprise announcement forced a brief recess requested by Judge Alison Beames to ensure Danjou understood the consequences of the guilty plea, and that he would be pleading guilty to every aspect of the charge, including date, time and intentionality. 

Following the 15 minute recess, the judge accepted the plea.

Danjou also made clear he wanted the sentencing to be concluded today, and was initially under the impression he could get parole in 10 years by pleading guilty.

Judge Beames clarified with Danjou that the final decision on sentencing, including the parole period, was under her jurisdiction.

The court will reconvene at 2 p.m. to determine when sentencing will occur.

Danjou, 69, a resident of Surrey, is charged in the death of Rama Gauravarapu at the Best Western Hotel in West Kelowna on the evening of July 22, 2018.

He was found hiding in a nearby dumpster a short time later.

Police charged him with second-degree murder. He has been in custody since his arrest.

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