Men charged in Maple Batalia's murder to appear in court Monday
Published Sunday, December 2, 2012 9:43PM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 3, 2012 8:24AM EST
Two men charged in the murder of a Simon Fraser University student are expected to make their first court appearance.
Gurjinder “Gary” Dhaliwal, 20, and 22-year-old Gursimar Singh Bedi were arrested Friday in connection with the 2011 murder of Maple Batalia.
The men were held in custody over the weekend and they are scheduled to appear in Surrey Provincial Court on Monday.
British Columbia RCMP laid charges more than a year after 19-year-old Batalia was gunned down at a campus parking lot.
Dhaliwal, who friends have identified as Batalia’s ex-boyfriend, is charged with first-degree murder, while Bedi is charged with manslaughter using a firearm and accessory after the fact.
Records show that four days before Batalia’s murder, police recommended assault charges against Dhaliwal following a confrontation at a coffee shop. However, the charges were eventually dropped.
Court records also reveal that Bedi is currently facing drug procession and trafficking charges.
According to one of Batalia’s close friends, her relationship with Dhaliwal was rocky.
While she didn’t know him well, Michelle Cyr said that while Dhaliwal appeared to be a quiet, shy and nice guy, he also had a jealous side.
“I’d even hear phone conversations when I would go over to (Maple’s) house,” Cyr told CTV British Columbia on Sunday. “I would hear on the phone a different side of him when he’s angry, yelling. Looking back now, I realize it was a lot more serious.”
Cyr added that neither she nor Batalia knew how to read the signs of an unhealthy relationship at the time.
“I guess as kids, and as the only relationship that you know, you can’t really know how severe it is because you can’t compare it with anything else,” she said.
During a Saturday news conference, members of Batalia’s family thanked the RCMP and the community for their support during the investigation and said the arrests provide some relief following the tragic death.
Batalia had been studying at the campus library before she was shot in a parking lot on Sept. 28, 2011. She was rushed to hospital where she later died of her injuries.
At one point, as many as 50 investigators were assigned to Batalia’s case. During the investigation, police said they had no evidence linking the murder to drugs or organized crime. They said Batalia died in a targeted attack.
Batalia was an aspiring doctor, who also had experience acting and modelling. She had a small role in the 2010 movie “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.”
With files from CTV British Columbia’s Julia Foy