Narinder Kalsi died in July 2014. (File photo)

Former Surrey temple leader pleads guilty to manslaughter in 2014 death of spouse

Baldev Singh Kalsi initially charged with second-degree murder

A former Surrey temple president charged with second-degree murder in connection with his wife’s July 2014 death entered a guilty plea to manslaughter today (Monday).

Baldev Singh Kalsi appeared in court Monday afternoon and confirmed that he, his counsel and the Crown have agreed to a signed statement of facts that will be disclosed publicly at his next court appearance, a sentencing hearing set for Feb. 22, 2018.

Crown Wendy Stephen declined to discuss details of the statement until they are read into the record.

“We’ll deal with them at sentencing,” she told Peace Arch News.

A man who identified himself as the brother of the victim was present at the sparsely-attended court appearance, but also declined comment.

Kalsi’s decision to enter a plea was confirmed last week during a brief appearance in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster – a date that was set more than a year ago to be the start of his trial.

While it was later rescheduled to enter a plea and sentencing, defence counsel Peter Wilson last week asked the court for an extra week’s time.

“The Crown and I are in the middle of trying to sort out an agreed statement of facts,” Wilson said.

Kalsi – former president of the Gurdwara Sahib Brookside temple – was arrested in South Surrey on July 14, 2014 after police found his wife, Narinder, in severe medical distress at a home in the 19400-block of 32 Avenue.

Police at the time described the incident as “domestic-related.”

Narinder was airlifted to hospital and placed on life support.

Kalsi was removed as temple president four days later.

Initially charged with aggravated assault, then attempted murder, the accusation against Kalsi was upgraded to second-degree murder less than a week later, after Narinder was taken off of life support and pronounced dead.

Kalsi was ordered to stand trial on the charge following a preliminary inquiry in Surrey Provincial Court in the summer of 2016.

He entered a not-guilty plea at the beginning of those proceedings.

Outside court last week, Crown Wendy Stephen said an agreed statement of facts has been in the works “for some time.”

Under bail conditions discussed during Monday’s court appearance were Kalsi’s further prohibition from attending the temple, except for one occasion when he will be allowed to retrieve personal belongings in the company of a police officer.

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Baldev Singh Kalsi made a brief appearance in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster last week. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Baldev Singh Kalsi, charged with second-degree murder in connection with the July 2014 death of his wife Narinder, entered a plea on Monday to manslaughter. (File photo)

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