Trucker’s manslaughter guilty plea rejected by Crown
SARNIA — A trucker’s attempt to plead guilty to manslaughter in the 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.
Jury selection was completed Tuesday and an opening statement by the Crown is expected Wednesday.
Brar was charged after the body of his wife, Gurpreet Brar, 37, was found in the burnt remains of a transport truck on the westbound lanes of Highway 402 near Sarnia 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 the moment caused by sudden provocation. Brar’s attempt to plead guilty to a lesser offence was rejected.
Fourteen jurors were selected Tuesday along with two alternates, although it required the court to sit past 5 p.m.
Fourteen is an unusual number as 12 is the standard criminal jury size but 14 ensures the trial can proceed if a juror is unable to carry on. The minimum size for a jury is 10.
During the jury selection, 99 of the jurors summoned were either excused by the judgeor dismissed due to challenges by the Crown or defence.
The trial is expected to last four weeks. Sarnia Observer