Skip to content

KOOPMANS TRIAL: Family waits for verdict

The family of a man shot and left for dead said they can feel his spirit as they are waiting for a verdict.
Keith Wharton (left) was found dead at a property in Princeton in 2013. His sister Cheri Franklin (right) said his spirit has been with the family while they have been attending the trial of the man accused of killing him.

The family of a man shot and left for dead said they can feel his spirit as they are waiting for a verdict on the person who is alleged to have killed him.

John Ike Koopmans is charged with two counts of murder in relation to the deaths of Robert Keith Wharton, 43, and Rosemary Fox, 32, and one count of attempted murder relating to the shooting of Bradley Martin, 51.

Wharton’s sister, Cheri Franklin, and his mother Carol Wharton have attended as much of the trial as they could, sitting in the front row of the gallery. The deceased man’s mother said her son’s spirit has been with them throughout the eight-week trial.

“He shows himself all kinds of ways to all of us, I know it may sound hokey, but I totally believe it,” Carol said.

She testified earlier in the trial, and was on the property in Princeton during the incident on March 30, 2013. She too is expecting closure.

“Hopefully it’s the right thing, and hopefully he’s found guilty and goes to jail for a long time,” Wharton said.

Franklin said the two are feeling stressed and emotionally and physically drained.

“It’s just taken so much out of all of us,“ Franklin said.

“I don’t know if it’s going to get closure for me because the (question) is always going to be there, why? Who could do something as horrific as this? But hopefully there will be some kind of closure,” Franklin said.

Justice Miriam Maisonville read the charge to the 12 jurors in B.C. Supreme Court Thursday, outlining the evidence of the case and the reminding the jurors of their role.