Trucker’s man­slaugh­ter guilty plea re­jected by Crown

The Observer (Sarnia) - - FRONT PAGE - nbowen@postmedia.com NEIL BOWEN

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.

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