Charge against Lake Country man accused of killing his wife stayed - InfoNews

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Charge against Lake Country man accused of killing his wife stayed

Arlene Westervelt, 56, died three years ago at the Okanagan Lake.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Le Necrologue
July 16, 2020 - 8:27 AM

The Lake Country man charged with the second degree murder of his wife, Arlene Westervelt, will not face trial.

Lambertus Westervelt was scheduled for a preliminary hearing relating to the 2016 death of his wife, when the charge was stayed this week

"After carefully reviewing new information relating to this matter, Crown Counsel determined that the BC Prosecution Service's charge assessment standard was no longer met," Alisia Adams
of the B.C. Prosecution Service said in an email.

This standard, as set out in the prosecution service's Charge Assessment Guidelines, requires Crown counsel to independently, objectively and fairly measure all available evidence against a two-parties, which includes whether there is a substantial likelihood of conviction, and if so, whether the public interest requires a prosecution.

"This test continues to apply throughout any prosecution. Where this test is no longer met, it is appropriate for Crown counsel to direct a stay of proceedings," she said

In November 2019, friends of Arlene said they were awaiting justice and described their friend as an "active, vivacious, kind compassionate and always wanted to have the next adventure.” 

“She was very energetic, and a wonderful friend and I just miss her," Cathy Vissia said.

Arlene’s body was recovered June 27, 2016 from Okanagan Lake near Okanagan Centre in Lake Country.

She had been canoeing with a man about 100 feet from shore, RCMP said at the time, when the canoe tipped over and she fell into the water. Neither person was wearing a lifejacket.

She was found in 35 feet of water, approximately 100 feet from the shore, by trained divers with the RCMP underwater recovery team.

Investigators initially thought Arlene's death was a tragic accident. But on April 6, 2019, Westervelt was arrested and charged with second degree murder.


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