MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. -- On Thursday, a 66-year-old grandmother was convicted by a second jury of first-degree murder in the Germantown slaying of her husband's ex-wife.
Raminder Kaur's attorney had attempted to claim in her appeal trial that the murder of Preeta Gabba, 47, was carried out alone by Kaur's husband. But the new jury disagreed, and her original conviction will stand.
Kaur and her husband, Baldeo Taneja, 65, had been tried in 2014 and convicted of first-degree murder. They both appealed, and although Taneja is still waiting, Kaur was given a new trial based on allegedly incompetent lawyering in the first case.
At the time of the 2013 murder, Kaur and Taneja were involved in an Amway operation while living in Tennessee. They were angry, prosecutors say, that Taneja owed money to his ex-wife Gabba. So they planned the murder under the guise of attending a Montgomery County Amway conference. Gabba lived nearby.
They shot Gabba in her Germantown neighborhood, put in an appearance at the Amway conference, then left to go back to Tennessee.
“This was a coldblooded act,” said Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy. “Not only did they drive up here to execute the victim, they’d come up earlier to run surveillance on her movements. I am grateful that a jury has seen the truth of this matter — yet again.”
The jurors struggled with how to define the act of murder. They weren't sure beyond the shadow of a doubt (although most did suspect Kaur was the shooter) that she had necessarily pulled the trigger and killed Gabba. But her presence and participation were enough for them to come down again in favor of first-degree murder.