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Victim's family vows to meet 'personal' challenges from murderer five years later

For five years, Lynn Kalmring's family has had to fight her killer in court.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Brandy Cummings
September 01, 2017 - 1:01 PM

PENTICTON - The last you heard the name Keith Wiens was likely in 2013 when he was convicted of the second degree murder of his partner, Lynn Kalmring, in Penticton two years earlier.

Kalmring’s family, however, can’t seem to escape it. 

Brandy Cummings, Kalmring’s daughter, says she felt a duty to her mother to see this to the end so she signed up with the Parole Board of Canada to keep track of Wiens, ensure he doesn’t just get lost in the system.

But that’s not what it looks like.

“In the beginning, after everything was said and done, I had the option to have letters sent to me to know what he is up to all the time,” she says. “I had the right to know everything he was doing. Absolutely everything.”

What she got was almost weekly updates on how well he did in his courses, his counselling sessions, in school — a constant barrage of reports from the man who killed her mom.

“I used to get so mad,” she says. “I didn’t want to hear how good he was doing.”

It got worse. Not long ago, she started getting advisories of his attempts to get leaves of absence from the Bath Medium Security Institution in Ontario. They invited her input.

“I’ve had to write three letters now to the parole board,” she says. “I am getting sick of writing these letters… it’s absurd. This is not going away for me at all. I hear about it all the time.”

That’s not unusual for families of homicide victims after a conviction, but their situation is far more complicated. For five years now, the family has been fighting Wiens in court over assets that Wiens and Kalmring shared as a couple, among them a home in Penticton and another in Arizona. It’s a point of principle for them, to ensure Wiens does not profit from his crime. He should not have Kalmring’s half of their shared assets.

“She is entitled to her half of everything,” Cummings says. “If I was an evil vindictive person like him I would take it all and that is exactly what he is trying to do, he is trying to take it all, her half as well. He doesn't think my mom deserves anything. He is still being an arrogant, disgusting person.”

Lynn Kalmring with her daughter, Brandy Cummings.
Lynn Kalmring with her daughter, Brandy Cummings.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Brandy Cummings

Court documents show Wiens wants even more than that — he wants to reassert his claim of innocence, that he shot her in self defence, despite his conviction by a B.C. Supreme Court judge and jury and a lost appeal.

Worse still, he is representing himself. Kalmring’s family applied Aug. 24 to have a judge make a finding of liability and finally end his nonsense. If that is not accepted, there’s a chance Cummings and her siblings and Kalmring’s sister would have to face him in civil court, perhaps be cross-examined by him directly.

The family’s lawyer, Chris Watson, said in court documents, Wiens’ denial of liability and intention to act as his own lawyer “displays ‘reckless indifference’ to the merits of the case. It can only be calculated to cause plaintiff grief and frustration.”

Wiens, a retired RCMP officer, is still collecting a pension, which Kalmring’s family believes is more than $3,000 per month. His pursuit of money was a consistent theme at his trial. That’s what he and Lynn fought about the night he shot her.

Cummings believes there’s more to his actions in court. He has enough money that he could afford a lawyer, so why does he intend to represent himself?

“It almost feels at this point like it is personal,” Cummings says. “It feels like everything is personal with him especially when it comes to money…  and that is why he is not budging on this.”

Cummings says of course these tactics by Wiens from behind bars have created additional heartache and stress on everyone, which is perhaps what he wants. She can’t wait for the day she can go perhaps a year without hearing his name.

But until that time, she and her family are prepared to meet any challenge.

“When someone does that to somebody, if you think the family is going to stand down after you hurt them that bad, that’s not going to happen,” she says. “Yes it is a commitment you take but I don't know why you wouldn’t. Yes it is painful but it has to be done. I am not going to just lay down and let him take her."

“We are just trying to get what’s right for my mom. She would have done the same thing.”


To contact a reporter for this story, email Marshall Jones or call 250-718-2724 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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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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