Trucker’s manslaughter guilty plea rejected by Crown
A trucker’s attempt to plead guilty to manslaughter in the fiery Highway 402 death of his wife was rejected by the Crown Tuesday in court.
Following the rejection, jury selection began for the first-degree murder trial of Sukhchain Singh Brar, 52, a Brampton truck driver.
Jury selection was completed and an opening statement by the Crown is expected Wednesday.
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 Highway 402 near Sarnia about 3 a.m. on Jan. 31, 2016.
The Criminal Code defines firstdegree 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 the 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 judge or dismissed due to challenges by the Crown or defence.
The trial is expected to last four weeks.