Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Anne Kirker is expected to sentence Satnam Singh Sandhu on Friday. Red Deer Advocate file photo

Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Anne Kirker is expected to sentence Satnam Singh Sandhu on Friday. Red Deer Advocate file photo

Updated: Sylvan Lake man pleads guilty to manslaughter for strangling wife in 2019

Kulvinder Sandhu was strangled and died in hospital several days later

A Sylvan Lake man pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Red Deer court Tuesday morning for strangling his wife during an argument in September 2019.

Satnam Singh Sandhu, 42, got into a fight with his wife, Kulvinder Sandhu, 36, at their Sylvan Lake home on the morning of Sept. 11, 2019. During the altercation, he choked her unconscious and then pushed her. When she fell she hit her head on a heater.

Satnam called 911 and told them he had killed his wife. They advised him how to perform CPR until help arrived.

When police showed up minutes later, they found Kulvinder lying on the kitchen floor. Satnam Sandhu was arrested at the scene.

RELATED:

COVID-19 delays guilty plea in Sylvan Lake homicide

Sylvan Lake man accused of killing his wife

EMS arrived and a paramedic at first found no pulse in Kulvinder but performed CPR and got a pulse back. A second EMS unit arrived and transferred Kulvinder to Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre, where she had to be revived again.

She was declared brain dead two days later and taken off life support the following day.

An autopsy determined she had died from strangulation-related injuries that had cut off oxygen to her brain. Neck injuries showed enough force was used to make her lose consciousness. Dozens of other abrasions and bruises were also found on her body.

In a victim impact statement, Kulvinder and Satnam’s son told Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Anne Kirker that his mother meant everything to him.

“She was always there for me,” he said. “From the time she left this world everything hasn’t felt the same.”

The 15-year-old, who is now living with relatives, said the family has no respect for Satnam and are worried he might pose a threat when he gets out of prison.

His father, who had shown little emotion as he watched the proceedings, hung his head in the prisoner’s dock as his son read his statement and sobbed at one point.

Crown prosecutor Bruce Ritter asked the judge for a sentence in the mid- to higher-end in a range of seven to 12 years. In making his submission, he listed in detail the lengthy list of injuries the medical examiner had identified on Kulvinder’s body.

Ritter said it was a “matter of common sense” that choking someone and blocking their airway was likely to cause life-threatening injuries.

Everything said in court was repeated in Punjabi for Satnam by an interpreter.

Defence lawyer Dan Murphy asked for a sentence of four years. He pointed out that the couple had both been physical during the fight.

Kulvinder began the altercation when she grabbed her husband by the neck over an argument over $1,000 he had spent on a friend. At one point, she tried to hit him with a frying pan but the handle broke. Both had their hands on each other’s neck shortly before she lost consciousness.

Murphy said Satnam knew he behaved recklessly when he choked her and his actions were likely to cause serious injury but he did not expect the outcome would be fatal.

Sandhu is remorseful and accepts responsibility for the tragedy. But he should not be put in the same category as people who attacked others knowing it could lead to death.

Murphy said Sandhu came to Canada from India in 2001 and members of his family followed. He married his wife two years later and sponsored her parents and two brothers to come to Canada.

He first lived in Edmonton but moved to Red Deer in 2004 and the couple’s only child was born in 2005.

Justice Kirker is expected to sentence Sandhu on Friday.

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

Just Posted

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported 11 additional deaths over the past 24 hours. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta
Red Deer active COVID-19 cases drop slightly

Province reports 267 additional COVID-19 cases, 11 new deaths

On Monday, Feb. 22, Island Health listed Glacier View Secondary on 241 Beacher Drive in Courtenay as having a COVID-19 exposure Feb. 17 and 18. Black Press file photo
Red Deer sets new COVID-19 case record

There are now 565 active cases in Red Deer

The Vault Sports Pub re-opened for dine-in on Feb. 8, 2021. Leah Bousfield/ Rimbey Review.
Rimbey restaurants excited to be through second lockdown and re-open to dine-in

All say that the Rimbey community’s support was amazing during the difficult time.

Across the province, there are 2,738 active cases of COVID-19, with 18,417 recovered cases. There have been 288 deaths from the virus in Alberta since the beginning of the pandemic. (File photo)
Red Deer has 564 of central zone’s 766 active COVID-19 cases

Government of Alberta identifies 328 new COVID-19 cases Sunday

COVID
Red Deer up to 546 active cases of COVID-19

Province added 380 additional cases Saturday

Bookings for COVID-19 vaccines for people age 75 or older start Wednesday. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Updated: Delays for seniors booking for vaccine appointments

By 9:20 a.m. Wednesday, 4,500 seniors had booked their appointments

Black Press File Photo
Valentine’s Day shooting in Maskwacis leaves one male in hospital, one male in custody

19-year-old Francis Edward Nepoose from Maskwacis has been charged with attempted murder.

Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Anne Kirker is expected to sentence Satnam Singh Sandhu on Friday. Red Deer Advocate file photo
Updated: Sylvan Lake man pleads guilty to manslaughter for strangling wife in 2019

Kulvinder Sandhu was strangled and died in hospital several days later

Sentencing delayed in the stabbing death of Samantha Sharpe, of Sunchild First Nation. (Red Deer Advocate file photo)
Central Alberta man not criminally responsible for killing his father in 2020: judge

Psychiatrist testified Nicholas Johnson was psychotic when he killed his father

The cover of “Hometown Asylum: A History and Memoir of Institutional Care.” (Submitted)
Ponoka-born author writes history of old mental hospital

“Hometown Asylum: A History and Memoir of Institutional Care” covers 1911 to 1971

Jacqueline Buffalo. (Photo submitted)
TikTok connects Indigenous women during pandemic

Maskwacis influencers share their stories

Todd Hirsch. (Image: screenshot)
ATB vice president gives financial forecast to Ponoka chamber

Predictions for reopening of the economy and recovery outlined

The 24/7 Integrated Response Hub is currently located in the Wetaskiwin Civic Building. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Wetaskiwin business owners concerned over 24/7 Integrated Hub’s impact downtown

Downtown businesses have had loss of customers, threats, increased property damage and break-ins.

Meteor spotted over Edmonton, Alta., on Feb. 22, 2021 by several, who took to social media to share their surveillance camera captures. (@KixxAxe/Twitter)
VIDEO: Fireball meteor streaks across sky, spotted by early-morning risers in Alberta, B.C.

Videos of the quick streak of light flashing across the sky before 6:30 a.m. MST

Most Read