A man who is accused of murdering his daughter-in-law for dishonoring him and his family told police he either had to kill himself or kill her — and he chose to kill her, according to Bakersfield Police Department reports filed in Kern County Superior Court.
Jagjit Singh, 65, is charged with first-degree murder in the Aug. 26 death of Sumandeep Kaur Kooner, 37, in the 3200 block of Monache Meadows Drive.
Singh has pleaded not guilty, and is being held on $1 million bail pending court proceedings. Singh's next court dates are scheduled for Oct. 2 and Oct. 3 for pre-preliminary and preliminary hearings.
According to the police reports, Singh's daughter-in-law was talking to a man other than her husband. Singh told police he overheard Kooner on the phone saying she was prepared to leave her husband and family and marry this man, the report said.
Singh attempted to lecture Kooner on why she shouldn't leave, as she has a good family, a house, children, and a husband who works and helps take care of their children, the report said. She became upset, and allegedly told Singh, "I am going to rip your beard off and stick it up your (expletive)," a sign of great disrespect in the Indian community, the police report said.
Singh then told police Kooner threatened to tell police he raped her. She began to rip off her shirt, Singh said, as if she were going to expose her chest — which would be as dishonorable as if Singh were to see "his very own daughter naked," the report said.
At that point, Singh decided he either had to kill himself or kill his daughter-in-law to maintain his honor, the report said, to which he decided to kill her.
According to the report, Singh retrieved a firearm from his room. After his Kooner attempted to rip her shirt one last time, Singh shot her once in the back of the neck and shoulder area. He then shot her another two times in the neck because he "did not want her to suffer," the report said.
When asked by police if he considered using lesser force, like assault, to address his daughter-in-law's disrespect instead of shooting her, Singh said if he would have "simply beaten (her), that would not have stopped the dishonoring," the police report filed in court said.
After shooting Kooner, Singh called 911, sat down, and waited, the police report said. Once law enforcement arrived, he repeatedly said "I shoot" while pointing at his daughter-in-law's body, the report said.
Nobody else was in the house at the time of the shooting, according to the report.