Attempted-murder trial shifts to Penticton

Preliminary inquiry for a man accused of stabbing two women and then trying to kill himself moved to Penticton

A judge has reluctantly agreed to move to Penticton the preliminary inquiry for a man accused of stabbing two women and then trying to kill himself outside a Princeton restaurant.

James Ronald Buhler, 53, is charged with the attempted murder and aggravated assault of his wife and aggravated assault of their daughter on Feb. 26, 2014.

Defence counsel Dave Johnson appeared on Buhler’s behalf last week in provincial court in Penticton and applied to have the one-day inquiry, which will determine if their is enough evidence to send the matter to trial, moved out of Princeton.

“The courthouse there simply isn’t adequate to deal with a matter of this seriousness,” said Johnson, citing the Princeton courtroom’s narrow confines and a lack of glass around the prisoner’s box.

Crown counsel John Swanson said the alleged victims no longer live in Princeton.

“It’ll probably be just as easy to get them to Penticton, if not easier,” he said.

Judge Greg Koturbash balked initially at the change-of-venue application.

“I think there’s always an interest by the community in crimes that occur in that community,” he said, before later granting the application after hearing sheriffs also have concerns about the Princeton courthouse.

A date for the preliminary inquiry is expected to be set Wednesday.

Buhler remains behind bars and didn’t appear in court.

Police allege he stabbed his wife and daughter multiple times outside a Dairy Queen and then cut his own throat in an attempted suicide.