Arrests in homicide of B.C. model Maple Batalia

Headshot of Maple Batalia, 19, who was gunned down September 28, 2011 in the parking lot of...

Headshot of Maple Batalia, 19, who was gunned down September 28, 2011 in the parking lot of Surrey's Central City Shopping Centre. Photo was taken June 14, 2009. (THE ROCK PHOTOGRAPHY)

MICHAEL MUI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:45 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- Slain Simon Fraser University student Maple Batalia’s former boyfriend and one of his associates appear in court Monday morning on charges of manslaughter and murder in the aspiring model's shooting death last year.

Batalia, 19, was shot and killed about an hour after midnight on Sept. 28, 2011, apparently in front of several witnesses, her family had said. Police announced Saturday they’d trailed two suspects since the “around the clock” investigation was launched.

Ex-boyfriend Gurjinder Singh "Gary" Dhaliwal, 20, is charged with first-degree murder. His associate, Gursimar Singh Bedi, 22, is charged with manslaughter while using a firearm and accessory after the fact. Both were arrested Friday.

Speaking at a press conference in Surrey, B.C., the victim’s sister, Roseleen, called it “bittersweet” news.

“Although we can’t bring Maple back … we’re just hoping that Maple will finally be at peace,” she said. “We hopefully will get some sort of closure about this, it’s definitely going to give us some peace of mind.”

Batalia was an up-and-coming model, actress and SFU health sciences student. A bursary has been set up at the university in her name.

Police said they are continuing to gather more evidence even as the case goes to court.

“From the beginning of the investigation we knew who these individuals were,” Insp. Kevin Hackett said, adding the shooting doesn’t appear tied to drugs nor gangs.

In November last year, Dhaliwal turned himself into police for an assault investigation in which two people, including Batalia, were hurt at a Tim Hortons in Surrey, B.C., several days before her death. He was released the same day.

Bedi is also scheduled to appear in court in February on an unrelated trial regarding two drug trafficking charges.


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