Vernon law courts. (Caitlin Clow - Morning Star)

10 years for Vernon woman’s role in ‘extremely brutal’ murder

Jaqueline Leavins was sentenced for manslaughter in relation to the murder of William Bartz in 2017

A woman has been handed a 10-year sentence for the role she played in the murder of William Frederick Bartz in his Vernon apartment in July 2017, after she intentionally goaded her boyfriend into carrying out what she knew would be a serious assault.

But as heard by those present at the Vernon Supreme Court sentence hearing Friday (March 19), Jacqueline Nicole Leavins played no physical part in executing the murder.

After inciting her boyfriend to violence by negatively comparing his sexual prowess to the victim’s, she followed her boyfriend to Bartz’s apartment where the “extremely brutal killing” took place, in the words of Crown prosecutor Laura McPheeters.

In the statement of agreed facts, the court heard Leavins had arrived at the apartment to find her boyfriend hitting Bartz with a hammer repeatedly.

She went into another room while the murder was carried out in full, and sat in the apartment alone for some time before leaving the scene. Bartz’s body was discovered by a friend the next day.

Leavins, born in 1978, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter in August 2020 in relation to Bartz’s murder.

Arrested alongside her then-boyfriend and co-accused on Oct. 12, 2018, on a second-degree murder charge, Leavins’ time already spent in custody leaves her with six years and four months of additional jail time.

Defence and Crown counsel presented Supreme Court Justice Alison Beames with a joint submission Friday.

Beames agreed with the 10-year sentence, which falls at the high end of sentencing for manslaughter, given the offence was “much closer to murder than it was to an accident.”

The name of Leavins’ boyfriend — the co-accused in the case — is protected by a publication ban to preserve his right to a fair trial in the future, after he was found unfit to stand trial in January 2020.

Leavins’ guilty plea came seven months after her the co-accused’s remand was announced.

READ MORE: Not guilty plea entered in Vernon murder trial

READ MORE: Crime down in Vernon, domestic violence on the rise: RCMP report


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

CrimeManslaughter Trial

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.[CDC]
More COVID-19 exposures reported at schools in Kelowna

Interior Health added additional schools and dates to their list of exposures

Winter driving conditions returned to the Coquihalla Highway on April 10. (ICBC image)
Coquihalla motorists warned of fresh snow

Five to 10 cm of snow is expected today for the mountain highway.

Tom Smithwick has written a new book, Knocking On Freedom’s Door, about his experiences advocating for a drug addiction treatment program in Kelowna. (File photo)
‘Knocking On Freedom’s Door’: A retired Kelowna lawyer’s insights to mental illness, addiction

Freedom’s Doors advocate Tom Smithwick shares what he has learned from experiences of treatment program clients in new book

Royal LePage Arena was an addition to West Kelowna championed by Len Novakowski. (File photo)
West Kelowna community leader Novakowski dies

Former Westside regional district director Len Novakowski dies after lengthy health battle

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Sun Peaks is tracking rising COVID-19 cases. (Kamloops This Week Photo)
Sun Peaks sees spike in COVID-19 cases at end of ski season

On April 9, there were 15 positive cases confirmed.

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

Most Read