John Brittain was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder in relation to the deaths of Darlene Knippelberg, Rudi Winter and Susan and Barry Wonch. (File)

John Brittain was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder in relation to the deaths of Darlene Knippelberg, Rudi Winter and Susan and Barry Wonch. (File)

Penticton man pleads guilty to quadruple murder

John Brittain, 69, pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

UPDATE: 10:15 a.m.

John Brittain has pleaded guilty this morning to four murder charges related to a mass killing in Penticton in April 2019.

BC Supreme Court Justice Allison Beames spent the first 10 minutes of Wednesday’s appearance ensuring that Brittain understood the repercussions of his guilty plea.

“Do you understand that pleading guilty may result in you spending the rest of your life incarcerated?” Beames said.

Brittain answered, “Yes.”

Sentencing submissions will commence shortly.

More to come.


ORIGINAL:

The man accused of the worst mass killing in Penticton’s history is expected to plead guilty on all four murder charges he’s facing, later this morning (Oct. 14).

John Brittain’s lawyer announced his intention to enter the guilty pleas in a Kelowna courtroom on what was meant to be the first day of a month-long trial starting Monday, Oct. 5.

The 69-year-old retired City of Penticton engineer is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder related to the deaths of Susan and Barry Wonch, Rudi Winter and Darlene Knippelberg on April 15, 2019. While a motive was not shared in court on Monday, all four victims were neighbours of Brittain’s ex-wife.

Following the plea, lawyers will move immediately into sentencing submissions.

First-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence with 25 years of parole ineligibility and second-degree murder carries the same life sentence but a lesser period of parole ineligibility between 10 and 25 years.

It is not yet known whether Crown prosecutors will seek a consecutive sentence to extend Brittain’s parole ineligibility beyond 25 years.

READ MORE: Guilty plea expected in Penticton quadruple murder

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


@michaelrdrguez
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC Supreme CourtQuadruple murder

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
36 new cases of COVID-19, one death in Interior Health

The number of active cases in the region is at 366

Michelle Thorne of Fernie Distillers with some Griz-themed cocktails available for Griz Days 2021. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Griz Days comes to town

While mostly virtual, there’s Griz-themed food and drink around town

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. File photo
COMMON’S CORNER: Challenging the government on vaccine availability and more

The first of a quarterly column from Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison

(L-R) Shawna Klein, Elkford Branch Manager; Stephen Fairbairn, Director at EKC and also Secretary of the Elkford Housing Society; Kim Bauer, Vice President, Elkford Housing Society; Donita Orsten, Staff Representative of the Legacy Celebration Committee. (Image contributed by EKC)
EKC donates $10,000 to Elkford Housing Society

The society is working towards constructing 22 homes for seniors in Elkford

The Vancouver Island Avalanche Centre (VIAC) is gearing up for another season of providing avalanche safety information. Black Press file photo
Black Diamond, PIEPS issue recall for avalanche transceivers

PIEPS said that avalanche incidents in 2017 and 2020 had prompted the recall, but defended the product

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second death reported in Kelowna General Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

A total of seven cases have been identified at the hospital: six patients and one staff

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

Most Read