The police dog unit searches the perimeter of the Sundance Suites after a body was located July 19, 2017. (Morning Star file photo)

Not guilty plea entered in North Okanagan murder trial

Woman pleads guilty to lesser charge of being a party to manslaughter in July 2017 death

A Vernon woman has entered a guilty plea, but to a lesser charge, in connection with the death of a man at the Sundance Apartments, back in July 2017.

Jacqueline Nicole Leavins, born in 1978, entered a not guilty plea to a charge of second degree murder at the beginning of her trial in Vernon Supreme Court on Monday, Aug. 17. She then entered a plea of guilty to the lesser charge of being a party to manslaughter in connection with the death of Vernon resident, William Frederick Bartz.

“You’re admitting to being a party to the killing of Mr. Bartz,” Madam Justice Alison Beames told Leavins, who appeared via video conference.

Bartz lived in the Sundance Apartments, off 43rd Avenue and 29th Street, and was found dead inside his unit on July 19, 2017.

Leavins will be sentenced Dec. 10. Pre-sentence and psychiatric reports have been requested.

Leavins and Richard William Fairgrieve were arrested in October 2018 and each charged with murder in connection to Bartz’s death.

Fairgrieve was declared unfit to stand trial back in January of this year. If he is found fit to stand, at some later time, the BC Prosecution Service will resume the prosecution against him for the murder charge.

But following a stroke, “he may never be fit,” Beames said.

READ MORE: Suspicious death ruled homicide

READ MORE: Vernon murder suspect awaits bail hearing



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Courtmurder

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A Vernon woman has entered a guilty plea to a lesser charge of being a party to a manslaughter in connection with the death of a man inside a Vernon apartment in July 2019. (Morning Star - file photo)

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Penticton Vees return to action with 7-0 win over Salmon Arm

The Vees will get right back to it tomorrow night

United Way celebrates seven decades of impact in Southern Interior

Organization sees issues with poverty, mental health and addictions, heighten during the pandemic

Parks Canada not responsible for Mount Kobau blockade

Nearby residents have been vocal about plans to turn the area into a national park

Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health

The total number of Interior Health cases since the beginning of the pandemic is now at 522

Wind, rain expected to subside in Penticton

Warm, clear days ahead as wet and windy conditions are forecasted to clear up by Sunday

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

Kelowna man injured during arrest sues RCMP

Supreme Court civil claim alleges Dustin Blondin was the victim of an ‘unprovoked attack’

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Money laundering inquiry delayed over of B.C. election: commissioner

Austin Cullen says the hearings will start again on Oct. 26

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

Most Read