Officers arrived to a blood-spattered hotel room in West Kelowna on July 22, 2018, to find Rama Gauravarapu lying on the floor, face swollen and dying.
Following a tumultuous week in court proceedings in which Tejwant Danjou issued a surprise guilty plea to the charge of second-degree murder before subsequently withdrawing that plea. An appeal was granted to Danjou and trial began in BC Supreme Court in Kelowna on Friday (Feb. 28).
The first day of what is expected to be a three-week-long trial consisted of testimony from officers who attended the scene.
Police were called to the Best Western hotel on Carrington Road in West Kelowna following a report of a woman in need of assistance on July 22, 2018.
The woman, later identified as Rama Gauravarapu, died that night.
Const. Bradly Hartridge arrived to a hotel room, where he found officers already performing first aid on Gauravarapu.
He testified he saw her lying on the ground with an extremely swollen face and covered in blood. A broken wine bottle laid close by.
Hartridge followed a trail of blood from the room on the second floor down to an exit. He determined the suspect had likely fled the scene.
It was then Hartridge called in the RCMP dog service.
Cpl. Frank Roberts and RCMP dog Dex followed the track of blood droplets to a dumpster in the parking lot of a Tim Hortons, in West Kelowna.
According to Roberts, Dex was jumping and showing he wanted to get into the dumpster.
Roberts looked in the dumpster, seeing only cardboard. He shouted at the dumpster making his presence known to no response.
He then lifted Dex into the dumpster and quickly heard somebody scream.
Roberts could then see somebody in the dumpster, who he identified as Danjou in court, pointing to the prisoners’ box.
Service dog Dex engaged the suspect, who according to Roberts yelled, ‘get your dog off of me’.
Danjou attempted to pull the dog off of himself with his right hand, Roberts testified. Roberts grabbed Danjou’s left hand, attempting to pull him out of the dumpster.
Upon several requests telling Danjou to remove his hands from the dog — to which he did not comply — Cpl. Roberts drew his weapon and again asked him to let go of the dog.
Danjou complied and was pulled out by two RCMP constables on the scene.
Roberts testified Danjou was covered in blood.
He was subsequently arrested at the scene.
The trial continues on Monday (March 2).