Second-degree murder charges have been laid against a Hamilton man accused in relation to the death of Niagara winemaker Paul Pender.
Pender died last week at a home in Selkirk. Officers with the OPP Haldimand detachment responded to a call on Feb. 3 to a home on Smelsers Cove Lane. Pender was pronounced dead at the scene.
On Monday, OPP announced that Bradley House, a 31-year-old Hamilton man, had been charged with second-degree murder. He will appear in court at a later date to answer to the charge.
Pender was a long-time fixture in Niagara’s winemaking community, spending more than 15 years at Tawse Winery, where he was director of viticulture and winemaking. The winery won numerous awards during Pender’s time there, and Pender led a push toward sustainable grape growing. He was a late-comer to the industry, leaving a prior career in carpentry in his 30s to become a winemaker.
The Haldimand County OPP crime unit and OPP Forensic Identification Services Unit, in conjunction with the province’s chief coroner’s office, are investigating. Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or who has more information is asked to call the OPP at 1-888-310-1122. Anonymous tips can be left through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.