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Penticton man accused of murder applies to have trial moved

An application has been made by Keith Wiens counsel to have his trial for second-degree murder moved from Penticton to Kelowna.

Wiens, the former RCMP officer who at one point worked at the Summerland detachment before his retirement in 2001, is alleged to have shot and killed his 55-year-old common-law partner Lynn Kalmring in their Penticton home on Aug. 16.

Defence council Neil Skogstad put forward an application at the Penticton courthouse on Monday before Justice Alison Beames to have the trial moved to Kelowna. It had been scheduled to begin June 11 in Penticton.

Skogstad said outside the courtroom that "negative" press coverage that has surpassed other high-profile investigations that involved violence in Penticton was the reason behind the application. Skogstad was referring to a violent attack that occurred in the summer on a Penticton woman at a second-hand store and a stabbing at a grad bush party that led to the death of a Penticton teen.

In January, Wiens appeared in B.C. Supreme Court for a bail hearing after being taken into custody for allegedly violating his bail conditions. His bail was revoked at that time.

The application hearing to have the venue of the trial changed is scheduled to occur the week of April 10. Justice Beames noted that it would most likely occur on April 11, due to counsel availability, at Supreme Court in Kelowna.

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