Keith Wiens and Lynn Kalmring first met each other seven years ago on the internet. They met through a dating website, Kalmring's daughter testified today at the Kelowna Supreme Court. The couple had been living together a number of years before moving to a new home in a gated residence in Penticton. They had been there only one year when Kalmring was found shot to death in her bedroom on August 16, 2011.
Friends and family of Kalmring testified on the fifth day of the jury trial for Keith Gregory Wiens who is charged with second degree murder in the shooting death of his common law partner.
The victim's daughter Brandy Cummings testified today her mother had become more distant after meeting Wiens. Cummings said usually she would see her mother, “at least every couple of days.... After she moved in with him, I saw less of her.”
Cummings' husband John McPhee also testified in court today.
“We went from seeing her five times a week to five times a month to fives times a year,” he said.
During a family picnic at Okanagan Falls two weeks prior to Kalmring's murder, McPhee recalled a conversation he had with Wiens.
“He said some derogatory things about my mother-in-law,” McPhee told the court.
Wiens told him “she hadn't been contributing enough,” and that,“she better get her shit together.”
Cummings and her husband also described Kalmring's distaste for firearms.
“She didn't care for guns,” McPhee said, who himself collects swords and knives. He recalled Kalmring had reluctantly given him a gift for his collection one Christmas.
“She made it quite clear she was not happy to give it to me.”
Before meeting Wiens, Kalmring was married three times. Each of her ex-husbands testified in court this afternoon.
Crown lawyer Tim Livingstone specifically asked the witnesses whether Kalmring ever behaved violently during their relationships or if she had any drinking habits.
Robin Kuraoka married Lynn when she was 17 and lived with her for ten years.
“She was a loving, kind and gentle person,” he told the court. When asked by Livingstone if she ever became violent after drinking he said, “not one bit.”
Kalmring's second husband Butch Marchant said they rarely fought over money when questioned by defence lawyer Ian McKay.
Wayne Kalmring, who divorced from the victim in 2001, said arguments over finances were, “few and far between.” He recalled just “a handful of times” they fought about money. When drinking he said, “she just became happy.”
Members of the jury submitted two questions to Justice Geoff Barrow today to clarify some of the evidence presented in the trial thus far. A few more witnesses are expected to testify before the crown finishes its case next week.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Julie Whittet at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (250)718-0428.