Crown rejects trucker’s guilty plea
SARNIA — A trucker’s attempt to plead guilty to manslaughter in the fiery Highway 402 death of his wife was rejected Tuesday by the Crown in Sarnia court.
Following the rejection, jury selection began for the first-degree murder trial of Sukhchain Singh Brar, 52, of Brampton. Brar was charged following the Jan. 31, 2016, death of his wife, Gurpreet Brar, 37.
Her body was found in the burnt remains of a transport truck on the westbound lanes of the 402 near Sarnia at about 3 a.m. on Jan. 31, 2016.
The Criminal Code defines first-degree murder as planned and deliberate, while manslaughter is a killing in the heat of passion caused by sudden provocation. Brar’s attempt to plead guilty to a lesser offence was rejected.
During the first phase of jury selection, half of 84 jurors summoned were either excused by the judge, regarded as unacceptable by fellow jurors or dismissed due to challenges by the Crown or defence.
Superior Court Justice Bruce Thomas said several jury panels have been summoned in the coming days to ensure 12 jurors and two alternates are selected.
The trial, expected to last four weeks, will begin as soon as the jury is selected.