PARMINDER Singh Basran and Bhabjit Singh Aujla both pleaded guilty on March 3 in connection with the death of Amandeep Bath in 2004.
Basran, who was charged with second-degree murder, pleaded guilty to manslaughter, while Aujla, who was charged with manslaughter and accessory after the fact, pleaded guilty to assault.
Their sentencing is scheduled for April 13 at 10 a.m. in New Westminster Court.
In a statement to The VOICE on Monday, Bath’s family said: “We are very appreciative of the hard work done by IHIT, the Cold case team, and Crown Council. We are pleased to see the two accused, who claimed they were innocent for almost 13 years, have now admitted that they are guilty. Amandeep did not deserve to die, his murder was senseless.”
BATH was out with friends on the night of September 23, 2004. When returning home, he was confronted in his vehicle by an acquaintance. This confrontation prompted Amandeep to take off in his vehicle and call 911. The two suspects then followed behind him in their vehicle. Both vehicles came to a rest in the 9100 block of 125 Street in Surrey, according to police.
At this location the confrontation ensued between the two suspects and Amandeep. This confrontation ended when Amandeep was shot and killed at this location. As Amandeep had placed a 911 call, the Surrey RCMP were on scene quickly which resulted in locating and arresting one of the suspects. The second suspect was identified and arrested a few days following the homicide. Both individuals were charged with homicide-related charges.
However, these charges were stayed in 2005 as Crown concluded the available evidence did not support a viable prosecution at the time.
In 2012, the IHIT Cold Case Unit was formed and this was their first assigned investigation. After an exhaustive review of the case, additional evidence was obtained and the threshold for charge approval has been met.
Nine years after Bath’s murder, on September 24, 2013, Kevin Hackett, who was then the Officer-in-Charge of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, told the media: “I would like to let the community know that arrests have been made today, and charges secured against, 28-year-old Parminder Singh Basran, who is charged with second-degree murder, and 29-year-old Bhabjit Singh Aujla, who is charged with manslaughter and accessory after the fact. Both men are currently in custody.”
Hackett noted: “Every investigation has its own unique set of facts, challenges and obstacles. This one is no different. In March 2012, a team of dedicated Cold Case investigators was formed within IHIT and now provides our unit an opportunity to focus on those investigations where investigative avenues had been limited and momentum stalled. In most investigations our investigators forge strong bonds with our victim’s family and this was certainly the case here.”
He added: “Amandeep’s family has shown tremendous patience, trust and faith in us. Thank you for that. We hope that this result eases some of the pain and answers some questions.”