Former Mountie’s murder trial moved to Kelowna

Pre-trial publicity and size of Penticton courthouse results in change of venue

A retired Mountie accused of killing his common-law wife in 2011 will have his upcoming trial relocated to Kelowna from Penticton.

Supreme Court Justice Alison Beames granted a change of venue application filed on behalf of Keith Wiens Wednesday, finding that pretrial publicity in Penticton may have tainted the limited jury pool, making it difficult for the defendant to get a fair shake in court.

Wiens allegedly shot and killed his common-law spouse Lynn Kalmring, 55,  in their Penticton home Aug. 16 2011.  Both were longtime residents of the South Okanagan with deep roots in the community, and Kalmring’s death prompted a significant outpouring.

“There was clearly less publicity (in Kelowna),” Beames said, referencing a stack of Penticton-based blog posts, internet-forum musings and newspaper articles that had been printed off by Wiens’ lawyer Neil Skogstad to illustrate cause for the application.

“And the pool of jurors is three times as large.”

Another troublesome detail factored into Beames’s decision was the physical restraints of Penticton’s courthouse.

Current facilities couldn’t accommodate the potentially large pool of prospective jurors if a proceeding called challenge for cause was used, said Beames, suggesting  they may have to be housed in a nearby hotel and individually escorted to the court for their interviews.

Although the Kelowna courthouse may be more accommodating in terms of size, Beames’s decision to grant relocation may create a secondary strain on the system.

Wiens was scheduled for trial June 11, but it’s unclear as of yet whether the local courthouse can accommodate a trial at that time.

Lawyers will meet April 20 to establish the potentially new timeline for the trial, which will either follow the previously established timeline, be shuffled to late summer or early fall.

Wiens, who was in court Wednesday wearing prison-orange, had his bail revoked in January after allegedly violating his bail conditions.

 

Just Posted

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News file)
One dead after fiery Okanagan Connector crash between two semis

DriveBC estimates road won’t be open until 5 p.m.

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Turn out is high in advance voting for the Penticton by election taking place Saturday, June 19, 2021. (Screen shot)
Over 2,500 already voted in Penticton by-election

General voting day is Saturday, June 19

The City of Penticton is beginning plans to revitalize its north entrance on Highway 97. (Jesse Day - Western News)
Penticton reviewing ideas on how to make the city’s north gateway more vibrant

The city has plans to redevelop the area into a welcoming and attractive entrance

People decided to tag Skaha Bluffs rocks which the Ministry has to go in and now clean up. (Facebook)
Bluffs at popular Penticton rock climbing park defaced

Ministry of Environment is going to clean it up

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko, a Vancouver lawyer, has been suspended from practice for two months after admitting that his firm mismanaged $44,353.19 in client trust funds. (Acumen Law)
High-profile B.C. lawyer suspended over $44K in mismanaged client trust funds

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko admits to failing to supervise his staff and find, report the shortage

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to collect donations ahead of Kristy Handel’s 33-kilometre run for Chelaine McInroy (pictured) to cover costs for a new prosthetic leg after her June 12, 2021, surgery. (GoFundMe)
Friend running to raise funds for Armstrong woman’s new prosthetic leg

33-km Run for Chelaine to help athlete cover medical costs from latest surgery

The Okanagan Eatery owner Chelsea Enns brings with her years of front-of-house and management experience to Vernon’s newest restaurant. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star)
Vernon’s newest restaurant serves up Okanagan eats

Trio brings passion for locally sourced dishes and smash burgers to the table

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

The Summerland branch of the Royal Canadian Legion has cancelled its Canada Day celebrations for 2020 because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Summerland Review file photo)
Summerland Legion cancels Canada Day events

Pandemic restrictions led to decision on annual celebration

Fire near Highway 97 C close to Merritt. (Facebook)
Wildfire burning near Highway 97C

The fire is an estimated nine hectares in size

Athena and Venus, ready to ride. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
Goggling double-dog motorcycle sidecar brings smiles to B.C. commuters

Athena and Venus are all teeth and smiles from their Harley-Davidson sidecar

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
B.C. casino workers laid off during pandemic launch class-action lawsuit

Notice of civil claim filed in Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo against Great Canadian Gaming

Most Read