January 02, 2014 - 9:13 AM
KELOWNA - While we may take some comfort that justice was served in two high profile criminal cases this year, we leave 2013 hoping for similar resolution for three more locals taken far too early.
We begin with Keith Gregory Wiens. The 57-year-old former Mountie from Summerland was convicted in July of second degree murder of his common-law wife Lynn Kalmring. As a side note, it's fairly typical in the news business to hear people slander someone charged with murder, but this case stood out. People appeared from all corners of the Okanagan to ensure reporters knew their anger, whether they could publish it or not. No doubt most of it was inspired by friends of Kalmring, universally described as a wonderful, loving woman. But plenty of it was inspired by Wiens himself, an utterly contemptible human being.
But don’t take our word for it, take Kalmrings. Her letter to him should tell all you need to know about both of them. Jurors got it. They took just five hours to find him guilty.
WIENS TRIAL: Final evidence expected next week
WIENS TRIAL: Wiens to spend 13 years in jail without parole
In October, a jury convicted Joelon Verma of the first degree murder of Brittney Irving, who was killed in 2010. Verma was a gangster and Irving was a mid-level drug broker. While the trial shone a very bright light on the marijuana trade in Kelowna, and it got close to the secret underground a guy like Verma operates in, the true story was about Irving herself. At 24, she was a trusted, reliable operator rising and excelling in, well, a male dominated industry. Everything she had she got herself. She had contacts from the bottom all the way to Joelon Verma.
“I got all the trust with these guys,” she texted a friend. A few hours later, Verma shot Irving in the back on some goat trail near Big White. For a bag of pot.
VERMA TRIAL: What do jurors know about Verma?
And now we wait for police updates on three murders from the last year. Tiffany June Goruk, 30, and Jeremy Daniel Snow, 33, both from West Kelowna, were found dead in February. His black SUV was found crashed into a parking lot entrance light standard around 11 p.m. at the Terra Vita condominiums on Auburn Road. Police haven’t said how they died, but it wasn’t the crash. They looked for a man seen leaving the vehicle but so far have not released any further information.
Police have also said next to nothing about the murder of 27-year-old Theresa Neville. She was in her Yates Road rented home with her two children on June 18 when it appears someone entered through a rear window and killed her in the night. Police published a sketch of a man they want to talk to, but haven’t said if it’s a man known to her or if it was a home invasion by a stranger.
Here’s to a peaceful 2014.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Marshall Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 250-718-2724 or tweet @marshalljones23
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014