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Sunday 12 July 2020

Indian-origin man convicted by US court for killing wife

Indian-origin man extradited from India has been convicted by a US court for killing his estranged wife when she asked for a divorce.

New York City: An Indian-origin man extradited from India has been convicted by a US court for killing his estranged wife 12 years ago when she asked for a divorce, according to media reports.

Avtar Grewal, 44, who was extradited to the US in 2011, was found guilty of first-degree murder by the jury on Monday, for strangulating and submerging his 30-year-old wife Navneet Kaur in a bathtub in the Phoenix suburb of Ahwatukee in 2007, the Arizona Republic reported.

His sentencing is scheduled for 23 August.

The two got married in India in 2005 but had a long-distance relationship. Grewal was living in Canada while Kaur was in the US on a visa.

Prosecutors told the court that Grewal showed his “true colours” immediately after he married Kaur.

Grewal would call his wife multiple times to find out her location, according to prosecutors. When she didn’t answer the phone, he would call her office and other people.

Defence attorneys argued that Grewal killed his wife on accident and then made multiple attempts to take his own life. However, prosecutors argued the murder was premeditated and Grewal had a pattern of controlling behaviour.

During their marriage, Kaur needed heart surgery. She chose to be treated in the United States. However, Grewal wanted her to have surgery in Canada.

Prosecutor Juan Martinez said the surgery was important to the trial because it showed Kaur cared about herself, while Grewal only cared about what was best for him.

Around the time of her death, Kaur told Grewal over the phone that she wanted a divorce. Grewal travelled from Canada to her Ahwatukee home so they could talk about it.

Kaur picked him up from the airport and took him to her house.

Kaur repeated her desire of wanting a divorce and admitted to cheating on Grewal, according to defence attorneys. The couple started to argue and it escalated to the two slapping each other, the defence attorneys said.

He strangled her and then submerged her in a bathtub of water. He was arrested by international authorities and extradited back to the US, the daily said.

The defence says while there was a fight between the two, Kaur’s death was not premeditated.

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