Trial over Valentine's Day kidnapping that caused chaos from Kelowna to Kamloops underway | Kamloops News | iNFOnews

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Trial over Valentine's Day kidnapping that caused chaos from Kelowna to Kamloops underway

September 23, 2020 - 6:30 PM

The trial of one of the men charged in a high profile 2019 armed robbery and kidnapping got underway in Kamloops this week, with RCMP offering insight into how they tracked him down.

Michael James Mathieson, born in 1982, is charged with robbery, using an imitation firearm and unlawful confinement.

In court today, Sept. 23, Const. Travis Singh with the Kamloops RCMP was called by the Crown to testify about how some of the evidence in the aftermath of the Feb. 14 incident was gathered.

The court saw a video of Const. Singh on Feb. 16, 2019 show a series of potential suspect photos to a witness. The witness, James Walker, identified one man in the photos, who he knew only as "Big Mike."

Walker told Const. Singh that he had heard "Big Mike" was "a pretty bad guy," describing him as "scary." Walker was unable to identify any of the remaining photos presented to him with utmost certainty, but said he thought one of the photos could be of a man he called "J.D." 

Justin William Daniels, born in 1980, is also facing charges including robbery, using an imitation firearm and unlawful confinement. A third man, Robert James Rennie, born in 1987, is facing a charge of assault causing bodily harm.

According to an RCMP release detailing the incident, a woman and two men armed with guns held up two men and a woman during a robbery in downtown Kamloops, Feb. 14, 2019.

The suspects kidnapped the woman and escaped in one of the other victim’s vehicle.

The investigation led officers first to a home on Dallas Drive, which was found empty, then to a Kelowna apartment on Bernard Avenue where police arrested two suspects. 

On the morning of Feb. 15, police stopped a vehicle near Falkland north of Vernon. The kidnapped woman was found uninjured and two suspects, a man and a woman were arrested. Police also seized firearms from the vehicle.

The trial will continue tomorrow morning in the Kamloops Law Courts. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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