Jagtar Gill and her husband Bhupinderpal Gill. He was convicted of first degree murder in her death. (Courtesy of Jagtar Gill's family)
Jagtar Gill and her husband Bhupinderpal Gill. He was convicted of first degree murder in her death. (Courtesy of Jagtar Gill’s family)

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — An Ottawa jury has found former lovers Bhupinderpal Gill and Gurpreet Ronald guilty of killing Gill’s longtime wife.

Jagtar Gill, a 43-year-old mother of three, was found stabbed and bludgeoned to death in Jan. 2014 — her 17th wedding anniversary — in the Ontario home she shared with her family.

After a highly publicized Superior Court trial, both Gill and Ronald were found guilty of first-degree murder Wednesday. Jagtar’s parents broke down crying as the verdict was read, while the rest of the courtroom cheered loudly in celebration. Neither Gill or Ronald showed emotion while the verdict was being read, both declined their right to make open statements in court after the trial had concluded.

Both will receive automatic life sentences with no chance of seeking parole for at least 25 years.

Over the course of the nine-week trial, the Crown argued that Ronald and Gill “were in love and dreamed of being together” when the duo plotted and carried out the murder. The OC Transpo drivers each entered not guilty pleas for the first-degree murder charges. They were tried together but had separate lawyers.

On July 15, Justice Julianne Parfett told the jury: “Don’t use sympathy, prejudice or fear to come to a decision.”

The jury of seven men and five women could have found the two accused guilty or not guilty of first-degree murder. It could not find them guilty of a lesser charge.

Gill’s lawyer said he will appeal the verdict, saying it shocked and devastated his client. Ronald’s lawyer said his client is very emotional and extremely disappointed in the verdict.

On Wednesday Jagtar’s niece, Ramandeep Chahal, read a victim impact on behalf of her grandparents, Jagtar’s parents.

“Jagtar’s children have been robbed of a mother’s love,” she read. “There is no closure, as we often hear. There is no moving on. There’s nothing, and we mean absolutely nothing, that makes you feel better. They say time heals all wounds but we have to disagree. The only thing time has done for our family is to move the tragic loss of Jagtar further away. It hasn’t made it better.

“Your short life enriched the lives of so many people. You will never be forgotten. Loved forever.”

After the statement was read, and court had been recessed, the front row, which was assembled of Jagtar’s friends and family, all joined in a Sikh prayer. Family members now say they plan to honor Jagtar’s wishes and have her ashes spread in India.