Former Mountie accused of killing wife takes on new strategy

The retired Okanagan Mountie charged with murdering his common-law wife has picked up new lawyers and, seemingly, a new strategy.

The retired Okanagan Mountie charged with murdering his common-law wife has picked up new lawyers and, seemingly, a new strategy.

A lawyer for Keith Wiens,  who is alleged to have shot and killed  55-year-old Lynn Kalmring in their shared Penticton home on Aug. 16. 2011,  announced his intent to file several applications in the days ahead.

New defence counsel Chris Evans told a Kelowna courtroom Monday that he intended to have the preliminary inquiry portion of Wiens’s trial brought back into the timeline.

The preliminary inquiry is used to vet evidence before it goes to trial, and Wiens chose to waive it and go directly to trial in October of last year.

Also on the agenda for Evans is a motion to have Wiens released from custody.

Wiens had been released from prison on bail, and living in his Penticton home after his arrest, but he allegedly broke the terms of his release in January and was brought back into custody.

They’re two significant changes in a process that’s been stalled for some time.

The trial was previously slated to start in Penticton June 11, but Wiens’s former lawyer Don Skogstad successfully lobbied to have it moved to Kelowna.

A busy court roster didn’t allow for the same date to be transferred over, however, and the new trial has yet to be scheduled.  That matter is expected to be squared away Oct. 29.

Moving forward, there may be more changes as Evans, Wiens’s new counsel, is considered one of Alberta’s top legal minds and has been dubbed a “tenacious advocate for the accused.”

In 2010, Evans published his memoir called, A Painful Duty: 40 years at the Criminal Bar that touched on noteworthy cases from all across the socio-economic spectrum. The commonality between those cases, may have been found simply in the practice of criminal law, which  he referred to   as “greatly akin to shovelling manure down in the sewer.”

According to Canadian Lawyer Magazine, Evans retired in 2010 but returned to practice law recently, with new partners  ex-RCMP officer Patrick Fagan and Ian McKay to form the firm Evans Fagan McKay.

Kelowna Capital News