Accused Penticton shooter denied contact with ex-wife - InfoNews

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Accused Penticton shooter denied contact with ex-wife

FILE PHOTO - John Brittain, shown here shortly after his arrest in April, 2019, was back in court today, June 7, 2019, as Crown filed an application for a non-communication order between Brittain and his ex-wife.
June 07, 2019 - 11:49 AM

PENTICTON - The man accused of shooting and killing four people in Penticton in April appeared in court today and a judge has decided he will not be allowed to communicate with his ex-wife.

John Brittain has been charged with four counts of murder related to two separate shootings that occurred in Penticton on April 15, 2019. He is accused of killing 71-year-old Rudi Winter outside a duplex on Heales Avenue before driving across town to Cornwall Drive where he allegedly shot Darlene Knippleberg, and Susan and Barry Wonch.

Since his arrest he has been incarcerated at Okanagan Correctional Centre.

Crown prosecutor Andrew Vandersluys told court today, June 7, a non-communication order had been filed against Brittain and his ex-wife Katherine on May 29. Crown made the application based on the ongoing police investigation which has determined Brittain’s ex-wife could be a potential witness.

Vandersluys said the application was being made in order to "maintain the integrity of the investigation.”

Defence lawyer Paul McMurray opposed the application, noting Crown’s delay of several weeks following the shootings, where Brittain and his ex-wife already would have had time to confer. He said both Brittain and his ex-wife were now socially isolated, and even though they weren’t living together at the time of the shootings, they were supporting and continued to support each other.

McMurray said any communication between the two would be “under a microscope,” and subject to monitoring by corrections officials.

Judge Gregory Koturbash disagreed with McMurray, however, pointing out a recent case involving dangerous offender Ronald Teneycke, who was able to correspond with his victim in spite of being imprisoned under a no-contact order.

Koturbash said with a police investigation currently ongoing, one couldn’t at present say what her role might eventually be in the case.

He granted the non-communication order, noting it could be reviewed as the investigation proceeds.

Brittain’s next court appearance is scheduled for June 26.

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