BC Supreme Court in Kelowna on Friday allowed Tejwant Danjou, 70, a real estate agent from Surrey to withdraw his guilty plea in the second-degree murder of Rama Guaravarapu.
On July 22, 2018, police attended a hotel located in the 3400-block of Carrington Road in West Kelowna after being notified that a woman may be in need of assistance. Police located a dead woman in a hotel room. A man was arrested a short distance from the hotel and was taken into custody by the police.
Danjou, then 69, was charged with second-degree murder in connection with the woman’s death. The victim was Rama Gauravarapu who was a financial planner at a Surrey Royal Bank branch and was Danjou’s common law partner.
On Tuesday, Danjou caught everyone by surprise when he insisted in court at the start of his five-week trial that he was guilty.
On Wednesday, his lawyer, Donna Turko, instructed Justice Alison Beames that her client wanted to withdraw his guilty plea.
The judge had repeatedly informed Danjou of the implications of entering a guilty plea, including accepting the Crown’s position of the factual circumstances of the crime and understanding that he would be sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for at least 10 years, CBC reported.
Beames then instructed Turko to prepare the application for a court hearing on Friday after which the judge would either accept the application and return the matter to trial or reject it and proceed with sentencing.
On Friday, the court decided to allow Danjou to withdraw his guilty plea.