Case could change for Kamloops man who admitted killing girlfriend

KAMLOOPS - The fate of a Kamloops murder case is unknown after the accused who pleaded guilty to killing his girlfriend is in talks with defence lawyers.

Up until his guilty plea Aug. 5, Christopher Frank Butler was self-represented in Kamloops Supreme Court as he faced a second-degree murder charge in the death of his ex-girlfriend Deanne Wheeler, 26. He still has not retained a lawyer officially, but had counsel speak on his case before results of a Crown-ordered psychiatric assessment are revealed in court. While acting as his own lawyer, Butler pleaded guilty to killing Wheeler and said he did it because he believed she was a demon.

Wheeler’s body was found in Butler’s Cherry Avenue apartment Dec. 30, 2014.

The case could proceed differently if the accused retains a lawyer. He could be found not criminally responsible for the crime if the defence can prove he was suffering a mental disorder at the time of the offence. If that option doesn't apply to Butler's case, the guilty plea could stand or a judge may dismiss the plea and order a trial.

The accused's next court appearance is Oct. 30. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Glynn Brothen at gbrothen@infonews.ca or call 250-319-7494. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724


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