RCMP confirmed one person has been arrested in connection to the alleged vandalism of the house where the ex-wife of the man accused of shooting and killing four people in Penticton lives.
John Brittain is charged with the murder of four of his ex-wife’s neighbours — Darlene Knippelberg, Susan and Barry Wonch and Rudi Winter.
The details of the alleged vandalism were not revealed during a scheduled court proceeding for Brittain on Monday. However, his lawyer, Paul McMurray, mentioned the incident while arguing against a no-contact order between Brittain, who is in custody at Okanagan Correctional Centre, and his ex-wife that was put forward by the Crown.
“About two or three weeks ago Mrs. (Katherine) Brittain’s home was seriously vandalized with approximately $10,000 worth of damage that was done. There is an insurance claim pending and there is also a criminal charge pending and Mrs. Brittain has become even more emotionally fragile and isolated,” said McMurray.
This is the third time the Crown has put forward the application for renewal as they wait for complete disclosure to be available from RCMP. Judge Lisa Wyatt said considering the Crown is still unsure if the ex-wife will be called as a witness, and that the investigation remains in early days, the no-contact order will stand.
It was on April 15 around 10:30 a.m. that RCMP received calls of a possible shooting. It is believed that Rudi Winter was pruning a friend’s tree at a home on Heales Avenue and Lakeview Street when he was shot and killed.
Carl Bartlett, who lives in the same building as the accused (which is located across the street from where the first shooting took place), said he heard one gunshot before a short pause and two more quick shots. One man working at a nearby business told the Western News he saw a man walking “casually” with a gun in his hands shortly after he heard some noises — which turned out to be gunshots.
It is then alleged that Brittain drove across the city to Cornwall Drive, the street where his ex-wife lived and shot and killed Knippelberg and the Wonch’s — who lived next door to one another.
About an hour after the first shooting, Supt. Ted De Jager said the accused turned himself in at the RCMP detachment unarmed.
RCMP have not revealed the motive for the incident but did say there were indications that the four murders were targeted.
The person arrested for the alleged vandalism, whose name was not made public yet, is expected to make a first appearance in court next week.
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