UPDATE: 10:15 a.m.
John Brittain has pleaded guilty this morning to four murder charges related to a mass killing in Penticton in April 2019.
BC Supreme Court Justice Allison Beames spent the first 10 minutes of Wednesday’s appearance ensuring that Brittain understood the repercussions of his guilty plea.
“Do you understand that pleading guilty may result in you spending the rest of your life incarcerated?” Beames said.
Brittain answered, “Yes.”
Sentencing submissions will commence shortly.
More to come.
The man accused of the worst mass killing in Penticton’s history is expected to plead guilty on all four murder charges he’s facing, later this morning (Oct. 14).
John Brittain’s lawyer announced his intention to enter the guilty pleas in a Kelowna courtroom on what was meant to be the first day of a month-long trial starting Monday, Oct. 5.
The 69-year-old retired City of Penticton engineer is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder related to the deaths of Susan and Barry Wonch, Rudi Winter and Darlene Knippelberg on April 15, 2019. While a motive was not shared in court on Monday, all four victims were neighbours of Brittain’s ex-wife.
Following the plea, lawyers will move immediately into sentencing submissions.
First-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence with 25 years of parole ineligibility and second-degree murder carries the same life sentence but a lesser period of parole ineligibility between 10 and 25 years.
It is not yet known whether Crown prosecutors will seek a consecutive sentence to extend Brittain’s parole ineligibility beyond 25 years.
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