'We're all devastated': Lake Country man charged with wife's murder appears in court | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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'We're all devastated': Lake Country man charged with wife's murder appears in court

Arlene Westervelt, 56, is pictured in this undated photo from the website Le Necrologue. Arlene's husband Lambertus Westervelt has been charged with second-degree murder in connection to her death.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Le Necrologue
April 08, 2019 - 11:45 AM

KELOWNA - Friends of Arlene and Lambertus Westervelt filled the Kelowna courtroom this morning as Lambertus made his first appearance after being charged with the second-degree murder of Arlene last Saturday.

Lambertus, 63, was charged with second-degree murder on April 6 and appeared at the Kelowna courthouse today, April 8, for a hearing. Lambertus, who's from Lake Country, is charged with killing his wife Arlene nearly three years ago.

Arlene died on June 26, 2016 when she drowned in the Okanagan Lake while canoeing and picnicking. She was 56.

Investigators originally believed her death was accidentally but a three year investigation led them to charge Lambertus with murder last week.

Lori Kolacz was part of a group of Arlene's friends who attended the hearing today. Kolacz said she attended high school with Arlene and knew her for decades. Kolacz intends to return to the courthouse often as the case continues.

"Three years we've been waiting," she said.

Theresa Frank and Diane Miller were also in the courtroom for Lambertus' appearance. They count themselves as his friends.

"We all love Bert," Frank said. "He's our rock. We're all devastated by what's happened."

Frank and Miller were both shocked to learn about the charges against Lambertus.

"He's a nice guy, a very nice guy," Miller said. "Anybody who knew him wouldn't think anything like that [could be] possible. He loved his wife very much."

Cory Armour, Lambertus' lawyer, declined to comment about the matter at this time.

Lambertus is scheduled to appear in court again on April 15. According to court documents, his record is spotless save for a conviction for driving an uninsured vehicle or trailer in 2004.

None of the charges against him have been proven in court.

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