Rama Gauravarapu was killed in her West Kelowna hotel room on July, 22, 2018. (Contributed)

Surrey man handed life sentence for West Kelowna murder of common-law partner

‘This was a brutal, tragic and senseless killing,’ said Justice Allison Beames

Tejwant Danjou was reduced to tears on Monday (Sept. 14) afternoon as he was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 12 years in the murder of his common-law partner, Rama Gauravarapu.

The former Surrey real estate agent was convicted of second-degree murder last month for bludgeoning Gauravarapu to death with a wine bottle in a West Kelowna hotel room on July 22, 2018, while the two were on vacation in the area.

Crown sought parole ineligibility for a 13-to-14-year term, while Danjou’s defence called for the mandatory minimum 10-year term. Ultimately, Justice Allison Beames split the difference between the two suggestions, opting for 12 years of parole ineligibility.

“This was a brutal, tragic and senseless killing,” Beames said as she delivered her verdict.

“By all accounts, Rama Gauravarapu was a much-loved and respected mother, family member, friend and colleague.”

READ MORE: Surrey man found guilty in West Kelowna killing of common-law spouse

READ MORE: Surrey couple had abusive relationship prior to woman’s West Kelowna murder

While giving her submissions, Crown counsel Simone McCallum told the court of Danjou’s “prolonged” and “horrible” assault on Gauravarapu that ended her life. The onslaught caused 52 separate areas of injury, mostly to Gauravarapu’s head and neck. The cause of death was listed as blunt force trauma.

“It’s no stretch to call this a brutal attack,” McCallum told Beames.

Danjou’s defence lawyer, Donna Turko, offered to the court a letter of support penned by one of his daughters — who cannot be named due to a publication ban — on behalf of his family, which caused Danjou to break into silent sobs.

“This tragedy has been felt deeply by all of us and we are concerned for his future,” she wrote, describing him as a kind and honourable man.

“He’s a selfless man who always put the needs of others before his own without ever expecting anything in return.”

READ MORE: Surrey man accused of West Kelowna murder ‘shocked’ when told he was being investigated

READ MORE: Eyewitness recalls seeing altercation between Surrey couple prior to woman’s murder

When asked if he had anything to say, Danjou started by offering that his daughter’s letter was “too much” while continuing to dab tears from his eyes.

“It’s ironic that I had to come to jail to find peace,” he said. “Incarceration of two years actually helped me immensely… I lead a life full of bliss in the jail and I am constantly in harmony with the present moment.”

Turko added that Danjou has reconnected with his Buddhist faith during his time in prison and has been a model prisoner — even earning the title of “Pod Father” from his fellow inmates at Okanagan Correctional Centre.

None of Gauravarapu’s family, who was present through most of the trial, was in attendance for the sentencing.

Danjou will spend the first two years of his sentence at the maximum-security Kent Institution in Agassiz, according to his defence lawyer. He will become eligible for parole in 2030.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


@michaelrdrguez
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

murder trial

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kelowna Warriors complete sweep of Vernon Vipers

Warriors edge Snakes 2-1 as Okanagan Cup BCHL exhibition tournament begins

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Public input sharpens vision of Oyama Ithmus Park

Proposed project to shape the long-term future of waterfront land in Lake Country

COVID-19 outbreak declared at Calvary Chapel Kelowna

Attendees of the Sept. 13 morning church service may have been exposed, Interior Health says

West Kelowna Warriors top Vernon Vipers in return to action

The Warriors earned a 4-1 win to kick off Okanagan Cup tournament

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Kelowna man injured during arrest sues RCMP

Supreme Court civil claim alleges Dustin Blondin was the victim of an ‘unprovoked attack’

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Parks Canada not responsible for Mount Kobau blockade

Nearby residents have been vocal about plans to turn the area into a national park

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Most Read