Bakersfield Man Sentenced To Life For Honor Killing

Jagjit Singh, 68, was sentenced Friday to life in prison for fatally shooting his daughter-in-law after an argument where Singh said she dishonored him by threatening to pull his beard.

A Punjabi cultural expert testified at Singh’s trial that hair is very important among Sikhs, and cutting the beard of a Sikh against his will would be considered an act of sacrilege. The expert testified Kooner’s words constituted a grave insult.

Police responded to a home on Monache Meadows Drive in southwest Bakersfield on Aug. 26, 2019 to find Sumandeep Kaur Kooner, 37, dead on a sofa.  Authorities say she had been shot three times at close range. reports defense attorneys David A. Torres and Navraj S. Rai argued at trial Singh tried to counsel Kooner after overhearing a phone call the day before in which she talked about leaving the family. Singh, his wife, Kooner, her husband and their children lived together.

Prosecutor Kara Thompson said Singh did not immediately act, but instead took time to consider his actions, then retrieved a revolver, loaded it and shot Kooner.

Court documents indicate Singh told police he either had to kill himself or Kooner due to her dishonoring him.

Posted by Jeff Lemucchi