Accused murderers apply for change of trial venue

The Robotti's defence counsel plans to apply for a change of venue, possibly Kelowna or Vancouver.

The Robotti siblings

The Robotti siblings

Grace and Pierre Robotti, the brother and sister accused of the second-degree murder of 26-year-old Roxanne Louie, are going to apply for a change of venue for their upcoming trial, defence counsel told the Western News.

Don Skogstad, a Penticton defence attorney representing Pierre Robotti, told reporters that defence plans to apply for a change of venue, possibly Kelowna or Vancouver, after a pre-trial conference was held in Penticton Supreme Court on Monday.

Skogstad said the application is partially related to the publicity surrounding the trial. Multiple rallies have been held outside the Penticton Courthouse during court proceedings over the past year involving the Robottis, sometimes followed by a full public gallery.

Louie was a member of the Osoyoos Indian Band and local band members, family and friends have gathered countless times outside the Penticton Courthouse displaying signs and wearing buttons with a picture of Louie that read “justice.”

For reasons unrelated to the case, Iain Currie is no longer Crown prosecutor. John Swason was representing the Crown Monday in Supreme Court where it was heard that the pre-trial conference for the Robottis is expected to last nine days, with nearly 10,000 pages of disclosure.

The matter returns to Supreme Court July 18.