BREAKING: Man charged in Penticton mass murder intends to plead guilty | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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BREAKING: Man charged in Penticton mass murder intends to plead guilty

John Brittain, 60, is escorted by sheriffs into the Penticton courthouse, Tuesday, April 16, 2019. Brittain is charged with three counts of first degree murder and one count of second degree murder following a series of shootings, Monday, April 15, 2019 in the city.
October 05, 2020 - 10:09 AM

The former Penticton city employee charged in a fatal mass shooting last year intends to plead guilty, according to his lawyer.

John Brittain, 68, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder after a quadruple homicide in Penticton on April 15, 2019.

The victims — Rudi Winter, Barry and Susan Wonch, and Darlene Knippelberg — were all neighbours of the accused’s ex-wife.

Brittain's trial was to begin this morning but Paul McMurray, counsel for Brittain, told the court that he would be pleading guilty to four counts Oct. 14, and at that time the trial will move to two days of sentencing submissions.

Neither Brittain nor McMurray were in court for today's proceedings. Family of Brittain's alleged victims were present, though they opted to not speak to media following the news about the intended guilty pleas.

First and second degree murder both come with a life sentence of life imprisonment. In the case of first-degree murder, parole eligibility starts at 25 years. Second degree murder starts anywhere from 10 to 25 years, as determined by the court during sentencing.

Generally, charges for crimes committed on separate occasions can be served consecutively. In cases where the offences arise out of the same event they're served concurrently. The judge, however, does have discretion.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Alison Beames is presiding over this case.


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