Brandy Cummings never got to say goodbye to her mom and now she is wondering why the man convicted of killing her may be allowed an escorted day pass from jail to visit a dying relative.
“I feel sick. I was just getting back to a somewhat normal life then this hits and the anchor is dragging me back down to the bottom,” said Cummings.
Keith Wiens, a former Summerland RCMP officer, was convicted in 2013 of murdering his common-law wife Lynn Kalmring. It was almost four years ago he shot her in the face with a handgun in their Penticton home. Wiens received an automatic life sentence for second-degree murder and will have to serve at least 13 years in prison before he can apply for parole.
Kalmring’s family found out earlier this month from Correctional Service Canada that Wiens was applying to the Parole Board of Canada to be considered for an escorted temporary absence for compassionate purposes. Inmates can apply for an escorted temporary absence at any time during their sentence.
Cummings told the Penticton Western News that she learned Wiens wants to visit his sick father in Penticton.
“Now we are sitting here waiting until next week. I am really anxious, I don’t know which way this will go,” said Cummings.
Dawn Jenkins, the niece of Kalmring, wrote to the board that she is concerned about the physical and mental well-being of the family members.
“If this temporary leave is granted, please know that we will be fearful, we will be once again victimized and feel that the justice system has failed our family,” Jenkins wrote. “He has ripped our hearts from us and we all have to live with the consequences of his selfish decisions — as should he.”
As part of the process, the statements Kalmring’s family provided to the board will be shared with Wiens.
Wiens applied for an appeal on the murder charge and made a court appearance in Kelowna in October. Kalmring’s family has also been tied in a civil court battle with Wiens since 2011 over residences/property.
Cummings said no matter how much she hates it, she now realizes the family and Wiens lives’ will forever be intertwined.
“Until he dies,” she said. “I don’t think it will be over until then. I will continuously hear all the stuff he is doing because that is my right to know. But until he dies, I don’t think it will be over until then.”