Murder trial begins for former Mountie

Jury selected for man accused of killing Lynn Kalmring of Penticton

The jury that will decide the fate of a Penticton man charged with second-degree murder of his common-law spouse has been chosen.

It was almost two years ago Keith Wiens was arrested for the murder of 55-year-old Lynn Kalmring. After several appearances in court for defence applications, return dates and a change of venue, the trial is slated to get underway this week at the Kelowna courthouse.

Wiens is accused of shooting and killing Kalmring in their shared Penticton home in the gated community of Sandbridge on Aug. 16, 2011. The trial originally was slated to be held in Penticton, but Wiens lawyer at the time successfully lobbied to have it moved to Kelowna under the argument that pretrial publicity tainted the jury pool.

Crown counsel spokesperson Samantha Hulme said the jury was selected on Monday and then advised to return on Thursday morning. Hulme said a voir dire, a hearing to determine the admissibility of evidence, will be held until then.

Wiens also faces a charge of breach of conditions in provincial court scheduled for July 25 at the Penticton law courts. The retired RCMP officer and school bus driver was originally released from prison on bail and was living in his Penticton home but allegedly broke the terms of his release and was brought back into custody. Wiens made an application to be released from custody for a second time in January but Justice Peter Rogers denied it. The reasons given by Rogers are under a publication ban.

Outraged that Wiens was initially let out on bail, family for Kalmring have taken up the fight for victims of domestic violence with the hope that one day there will be a law, called Lynn’s Law, that would change the bail proceeding system and enhance victims’ rights. In December, a petition campaign Kalmring’s family started shortly after her death was read by Penticton MP Dan Albas in the House of Commons.

“He said he was very honoured to do it. When he presented it in the House of Commons he was wearing a button with Lynn’s picture on it and he got a huge applause,” Shelley Pertelson, Kalmring’s sister, previously told the Western News.

“For me it was very emotional and I am really hoping something will come of it. Just to think we have come that far in this past year when we are supposed to be grieving and we are dealing with all the legal stuff plus trying to create change for other people.”