A man who is accused of killing his girlfriend is now facing a charge of second-degree murder, after his previous charge of manslaughter was upgraded in a Kelowna BC Supreme courtroom on Sept. 7.
Brandon Davina remains in custody after an incident of intimate partner violence resulted in the death of Brianna Jankauskas on the night of Monday, Aug. 21.
Jankauskas was severely injured when RCMP arrived on the scene of the Rutland home and she later died in hospital.
Today, Davina appeared in court by video from the Okanagan Correctional Facility, where he remains in custody.
Under the watchful eyes of many of Jankauskas’ friends, Davina’s charge was upgraded from manslaughter to second-degree murder.
A charge of manslaughter is considered if Crown does not believe that there was intent to kill, while charges of second-degree murder are used in cases where the death was intentional but not pre-meditated.
Jankauskas’ friend and ex-fiance Jeff Christie, was among the supporters in the courtroom. Speaking outside of the courthouse, he said that while it was difficult to see the face of the alleged killer of someone he loved, it was comforting to see the man behind bars.
In addition to the charge of second-degree murder, Davina faces other charges, including assault with a weapon, relating to separate domestic violence incidents.
Jankauskas’ friends also spoke about the sadness and frustration they experienced in learning that their friend was not the first woman who had accused Davina of abuse.
Days before she was killed, Jankauskas had reached out to Christie asking to meet up, saying that “something didn’t feel right.” They had made plans to talk, but never got the chance.
On the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 22, Christie woke up to a series of urgent text messages and missed phone calls from friends and family as the news broke that Jankauskas had been killed.
Christie describes Jankauskas as being kind-hearted and caring and said that her laugh and joyous personality will be missed.
None of the allegations have been proven in court and Davina’s next scheduled appearance is for Sept. 12.