BREAKING: Penticton man pleads guilty to 2019 mass murder | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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BREAKING: Penticton man pleads guilty to 2019 mass murder

On April 15, 2019, John Brittain shot four Penticton residents in the deadliest shooting in the city's history.
October 14, 2020 - 10:26 AM

The Penticton man charged in a fatal mass shooting admitted he planned and carried out a series of murders.

John Brittain, 69, pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder in connection with the April 15, 2019 fatal shootings of Rudi Winter, Barry and Susan Wonch, and Darlene Knippelberg. All were neighbours of the accused’s ex-wife.

Before accepting his guilty pleas, Justice Alison Beames asked him if he understood what he was doing by entering guilty pleas.

"You understand that by pleading guilty you may well spend the rest of your life in prison?" Beames said.

"That is correct," Brittain said, before pleading guilty to each count.

Crown indicated they will be looking for consecutive parole ineligibility, which means Brittain wouldn't be eligible for parole until at least 85 years.

Brittain's trial was to begin last week but Paul McMurray, counsel for Brittain, told the court the guilty plea would be forthcoming.

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. Beames, however, does have discretion, which she pointed out to Brittain.

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