John Brittain: Guilty pleas expected in quadruple murder case

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John Brittain: Guilty pleas expected in quadruple murder case
John Brittain: Guilty pleas expected in quadruple murder case

A retired city engineer from Penticton intends to plead guilty to multiple murder charges after a shooting rampage left four people dead last year, according to the BC Prosecution Service and his lawyer.

John Brittain, 69, was initially charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder. The trial started Monday in Kelowna and was expected to last four weeks.

However, Brittain indicated he will plead guilty.

“The BC Prosecution Service can confirm that, today, John Brittain’s counsel indicated that his client intends to plead guilty to all charges on the indictment,” said Dan McLaughlin, with the BC Prosecution Service.

“The charges include three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder.”

McLaughlin added the matter has been adjourned to Oct. 14, when the pleas will be entered and the two-day sentencing hearing will start.

Defence lawyer Paul McMurray told a B.C. Supreme Court judge hearing that he expects Brittain to plead guilty to all four indictments.

Last April, Four people were found dead at three locations in Penticton.

A 71-year-old man was killed outside a duplex. Police believed the suspect then drove about five kilometres, and three other people were attacked in two homes in that area.

The suspect turned himself in to RCMP. Police said at the time that Brittain and the victims — who were in their 60s and 70s — knew each other.

Rudi Winter, Barry and Susan Wonch and Darlene Knippelberg were all killed. All four victims were neighbours of Brittain’s ex-wife.

Brittain worked for the City of Penticton from 2011 to 2016.

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