Gursimar Bedi, the man found guilty of being an accessory in the murder of SFU student Maple Batalia, has been handed 22 months in jail. Maple Batalia was just 19 when she was murdered in the parkade of the Simon Fraser University Surrey Campus by her ex-boyfriend.
SURREY – Gursimar Bedi, the man found guilty of being an accessory in the murder of SFU student Maple Batalia, has been handed 22 months in jail.
On Friday, Bedi was sentenced to 22 months behind bars, but will serve 18 months after time already served.
Bedi was originally charged with manslaughter but found guilty of the lesser charge of accessory after the fact for his role in the aspiring actress and model's death.
A friend of Batalia's ex-boyfriend, Gurjinder "Gary" Dhailawl, Bedi rented the Dodge Charger that was used as a getaway vehicle after the 19-year-old was killed, reported CTV News.
Dhaliwal pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 21 years in jail without parole.
He admitted killing Batalia in the parking lot of the Surrey SFU campus after seeing her study with a male classmate in September 2011.
Batalia was shot three times in the back and slashed in the head with a knife after Dhaliwal became enraged, according to an agreed statement of fact submitted to the court.
Crown lawyers said he was a "jealous ex-boyfriend" who became distraught and violent after being broken up with.
He sent her thousands of text messages, and confronted her twice in the days leading up to her murder.
“This case has been postponed millions of times,” Maple’s sister Roseleen Batalia told the Now over the phone from California.
“(My parents) have suffered depression… My dad is underweight and doesn’t sleep. He’s always saying, ‘Why couldn’t I protect my little girl?’ He blames himself,” she said. “My mom has lost all hope. She’s doing all these things, raising money, trying to find her daughter in doing these things. And at the end of the day she’s not coming back.
“They still have all her clothes.”
Raising awareness about intimate partner violence (IPV), particularly in the South Asian community, is also important to Roseleen, reported Surrey Now newspaper.
“Raising awareness, stopping victim blaming, educating our community and others on this problem has been our number one priority,” she said of her family.
“We don’t get anything out of the community stuff we have done, only the satisfaction that we get from helping to stop another family from going through what we have.
“I’ve been involved in community projects related to different realities that South Asian women face in B.C. and we’ve already lost so many women to domestic violence.”
A report from BC Coroner’s Service Death Review Panel, titled A Review of Intimate Partner Violence Deaths 2010-2015, notes that an average of 12 people die each year in B.C. as a result of injuries from an intimate partner and that women continue to be murdered at a rate four times greater than men victims of IPV.