A Sylvan Lake man’s expected guilty plea for allegedly killing his wife in September 2019 was delayed Tuesday because of COVID-19 restrictions at Edmonton Remand Centre.
It only came to light on Monday that Satnam Singh Sandhu would not be able to make his planned Tuesday morning court appearance because health restrictions do not allow him to be transported to court from the remand centre.
Sandhu’s case was adjourned until Feb. 23 when he is expected to plead guilty to manslaughter in connection with the death of his wife, Kulvinder Sandhu, 36.
Little information has been released by police about the circumstances surrounding Kulvinder’s death.
Sylvan Lake RCMP said they were called to a local home at about 10 a.m. on Sept. 11 and found Sandhu’s wife badly injured.
Satnam Sandhu, then-41, was arrested at the scene. He was initially charged with second-degree murder.
Kulvinder Sandhu, 36, died three days later in hospital.
Justice Michele Hollins told Sandhu’s lawyer, Dan Murphy, to alert the remand centre well ahead of Sandhu’s next appearance that he needed to be available.
Murphy suggested the justice system’s handling of prisoners and court appearances has been baffling at times.
“I’m at a loss how to deal with institutions and how they’re handling prisoners,” he told the justice.
Satnam Sandhu listened in on Tuesday’s proceedings by phone. The courtroom was not equipped with a closed-circuit video link.
The court heard that Sandhu does not speak English and could not follow what was happening because an interpreter was not available.
The judge ordered that a Punjabi interpreter be available for his next court appearance, when he is expected to be sentenced.