Civil suit against alleged Penticton mass murderer quietly settled | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Civil suit against alleged Penticton mass murderer quietly settled

A civil case against accused mass murderer John Brittain and his estranged wife was settled out of court. Brittain is seen being escorted into the Penticton courthouse in this file photo.
October 06, 2020 - 2:04 PM

A civil case against accused mass murderer John Brittain and his estranged wife was settled out of court.

Sarah Young filed a notice of claim in September 2019 seeking unspecified damages in connection to the deaths of her parents, Susan and Barry Wonch.

They were allegedly shot by Brittain on April 15, 2019, the same day as Rudi Winter and Darlene Knippelberg.

All were neighbours of John Brittain’s estranged wife, Katherine Brittain, who was named as a co-defendant in the lawsuit but was not charged criminally.

READ MORE: Man charged in Penticton mass murder intends to plead guilty

In the original suit, Young claimed that for an unknown period of time before the April 15, 2019 killings, “particulars of which are better known to the defendants,” Katherine Brittain wrongfully and maliciously conspired with her husband “to commit the (murders) by combining at different times for the purpose of assisting and encouraging each other in committing the murders.”

This suit, as well as the murder trial that was to get underway Oct. 5, came to a swift and somewhat unexpected end. 

A consent order filed in B.C. Supreme Court Oct. 2, indicates that Young’s claims were “dismissed as if on the merits.”

All parties were responsible to bear their own costs in the lawsuit.

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

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

Find past stories on the John Brittain case here.


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