New trial set for Penticton man charged with murder

A Penticton man accused of killing an 85-year-old woman in 2006 pleaded not guilty this week.

A Penticton man accused of killing an 85-year-old woman in 2006 pleaded not guilty this week.

Corey Wolf Swite appeared in the prisoner’s box at the Kelowna courthouse Tuesday morning, and spoke to a murder charge he first pleaded not guilty to at the start of a 2009 trial.

The result of those court proceedings, however, were ultimately thrown out by the B.C. Court of Appeal last February, meaning Swite will again face a jury next month.

The appeal court found that Swite faced “real prejudice” through the way the trial judge dealt with the case.

Swite wanted jurors screened with questions to determine whether they could view the evidence without bias, prejudice or partiality because he is Aboriginal and the victim was an 85-year-old woman.

Amendments made to the law around challenging jurors resulted in errors and confusion in the selection of the jury.

The appeal court also agreed there was a potential for prejudice when one unsworn juror clearly stated her belief of Swite’s guilt in the presence of the other sworn jurors.

A publication ban was ordered by the appeal court that will not allow for the victim’s name to be revealed.

Jurors for this trial have yet to be chosen, but the process should begin by mid October.

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