†††††††††††††††††† †††† Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office

††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††† 25 Kirkpatrick Street, 3rd Floor, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 08901 (732) 745-3300

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† †††† *News Release*†††††††††††††††† Date: October 7, 2013

 

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Carteret man convicted of felony murder; arson

 

 

††††††††† Middlesex County Acting Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced that a Carteret man was convicted today of strangling and robbing a woman before setting fire to her home more than two years ago.

 

††††††††† Harpal Singh (DOB 5/16/65) was found guilty of felony murder, aggravated manslaughter, robbery, aggravated arson and hindering his apprehension in the death on February 14, 2011 of Balwinder Kaur, 44, of Jansen Avenue in the Avenel section of Woodbridge.

 

††††††††† A jury deliberated in New Brunswick for about 17 hours over three days before finding Singh guilty. A life prison term could be imposed against Singh when he is sentenced on December 6, 2013 by Superior Court Judge Diane Pincus.

 

During a trial that began on September 10, 2013, Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Scott LaMountain, Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Surman, and Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Neil Casey presented evidence and testimony showing the defendant broke into the victimís home and strangled her.

 

During the break-in, Singh stole cash and jewelry and then set fire to the victimís house to conceal the crime before fleeing.

 

††††††††† An investigation by Detective Shayne Bodnar of the Woodbridge Police Department and Investigator Michael Daniewicz of the Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office led to the arrest of Singh, who was apprehended outside his home on March 11, 2011.

 

The investigation began when a passerby saw flames coming from the victimís home and called police. Once inside the burning building, firefighters discovered the victim and brought her outside. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

An autopsy by the Middlesex County Medical Examinerís Office subsequently determined Ms. Kaur had been strangled.