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JONESIE: The final shoe drops for a Kelowna killer and other stories

July 25, 2019 - 12:13 PM

 


OPINION


Ronda Black was found guilty in Kelowna in 2007 of the second degree murder of her husband Keith Black in one of the most ridiculous decisions I can recall.

The judge who decided her case without a jury heard evidence that Ronda researched poisonous mushrooms, heard evidence that Ronda tried to spike his food, tried to pressure at least two friends to kill him for her before she stabbed the popular Central Okanagan tae-kwon do instructor in the basement of her home. That’s more than enough evidence of planning, which is one of the criteria for first degree murder which carries no chance of parole for 25 years.

Instead, she got life without parole for just 10 years.

Black was one of the more despicable characters I have ever covered in court. She wasn’t influenced by drugs or alcohol, like 90 per cent of similar offenders. Her crime wasn’t impulsive. And when she got to court, she claimed it was her dead father who killed Keith.

I always suspected she did that in part so she could maintain the lie with her son — Keith’s son.

My question at that time was if Ronda would ever admit to her crime knowing she would have a rough time making parole without the admission.

Well let it be known she has finally admitted it. According to a parole board decision from last year, she “accepts responsibility” for murdering Keith Black and “recognize(s) some of the problems that led (her) to violent behaviour.

She was released on full parole last year.

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Have you noticed any crime problems in your community? Anybody?

With skyrocketing crime rates in certain categories, would it be helpful to know when and where those crimes are happening?

Look around at some of the private city police forces at cities across Canada; most of them share that information quite readily, sometimes searchable on their websites, some with shockingly quick turnarounds.

We have been trying to get that information from Kamloops and Okanagan detachments for years and they refuse to share it.

Why is this information secret?

Sure, sometimes they claim they don’t have analysts or anyone else to do the work. I guess I can’t dispute that, although if local politicians cared about these issues they could probably help with that.

What I know is that I got that data and those maps from Kelowna RCMP for years before they decided they alone could handle it.

I have advocated before that our cities should dump the RCMP, bite the bullet and hire our own police forces — or create some sort of B.C. police force.

Here’s another reason.

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Want to see a video from my vacation?

We were in Johnstone Strait off Kaikash park. For three days we spotted blow holes from a humpback whale off in the distance, perhaps a dozen breaches.

On our last day, we saw them roughly in the direction we were headed. We rushed to get into the water. We hadn’t even pushed off shore when we realized it reversed direction and surfaced roughly 100-feet in front of us. That was also the first time we realized there were two.

Not bad for our first real experience ocean kayaking.

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I’m getting dizzy going back and forth on homeless and crime issues. It’s hard to balance compassion for people dealt a bad hand in life and those who insist on committing crimes and disrupting our communities.

Here's perhaps another way of looking at it. If you think the trouble-makers in Penticton, Kamloops, Vernon or Kelowna are preying and thieving in the neighbourhoods, spare a thought for the other people on the street who have nowhere to seek refuge. Those people need protection and the light hand of justice we have chosen is harming the weakest among them. 

Rather than thefts and assaults committed by people living on the street being brushed aside as a 'societal issue' instead of a justice issue, it should be turned around. Perhaps a return to prosecution and prison will separate the predators from the prey and give those really seeking to change their lives a fighting chance.

— Marshall Jones is the editor of iNFOnews.ca 

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