John Brittain, 68, being escorted into the Penticton courthouse in April. Brittain and his ex-wife, Katherine Brittain, have been named in a civil lawsuit by the daughter of a couple that were fatally shot. (Western News file photo)

Suspect’s ex-wife was ‘conspirator’ in fatal Penticton shooting spree, lawsuit claims

John Brittain and his ex-wife Katherine Brittain were named in a civil lawsuit

The daughter of a couple that was shot and killed in Penticton in April has filed a civil lawsuit against the alleged shooter and his ex-wife, claiming she was a “conspirator.”

Sarah Young, daughter of Susan and Barry Wonch who were killed in a shooting spree along with two others, is pursuing the family compensation act for her own benefit against alleged shooter John Brittain and his ex-wife Katherine Brittain.

John Brittain is facing four murder charges, allegedly shooting and killing his ex-wife’s neighbours — the Wonchs, Darlene Knippelberg and Rudi Winter on April 15. Katherine Brittain is not facing any criminal charges.

Winter was found fatally shot in a yard on Lakeview Street where neighbours said he was seen trimming a tree at a residence prior to the shooting, close to where John Brittain was residing. Not long after, the three others were shot and killed in the residential neighbourhood of Cornwall Drive — the same street that Winter and Katherine Brittain resided.

READ MORE: Four victims killed in Penticton shooting spree remembered at vigil

RCMP previously reported that John Brittain walked into the detachment one hour after police first received a report of a possible shooting.

In the notice of claim, filed June 14, Young states that for an unknown period of time, prior to the alleged murder, John Brittain’s ex-wife “wrongfully and maliciously conspired with the defendant John Brittain to commit the murder by combining at different times for the purpose of assisting and encouraging each other in committing the murder.” As well, she claims that Katherine Brittain was counselling, aiding and abetting Brittain.

READ MORE: Preliminary inquiry dates set for John Brittain

There was no evidence in the court documents, filed at the Kelowna registry, to support the allegations made by Young. She is seeking punitive damages for loss of her parents, loss of support, inheritance, expenses and possible further losses that counsel may advise.

In a response to the civil claim Katherine Brittain stated that she has nothing to do with the deaths of the Wonchs and “had no idea that John Brittain would kill them, if he did.” The court document further states the defendant is not liable for events outside of her knowledge and control.

John Brittain also submitted a response denying all of the claims made by Young.

The four murder charges John Brittain is facing are currently before the court with the last appearance setting a preliminary inquiry for Jan. 27 to 31. Brittain is behind bars at the Okanagan Correctional Centre in Oliver and has been on a no-contact order with his ex-wife as Crown counsel has not determined if she will be called as a witness in the criminal proceedings.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
editor@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

Kwa’lilas Hotel wins award from TripAdvisor

The Kwa’lilas Hotel opened its doors to the public back in 2017.

Three active COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island

Since July 24, Central island has had five new cases, North one, South none

Alert Bay tested for COVID-19 antibodies, results prove efforts were effective

Just 3.7 per cent of people tested have the antibody

BC Parks acquires private land in Cape Scott Provincial Park

Land previously held by B.C. land and cattle mogul Rudy Nielsen

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

B.C. man who nearly died from COVID-19 reflects on one-month battle

Robert Billyard was in an induced coma to ensure his body would not fight the ventilator to breath

Cowichan’s Dillabaugh checks in from the NHL bubble in Toronto

Flyers’ Duncan-born goalie coach weighs in on hockey restart

Wedding party bear sprayed at Okanagan campsite irks locals

Latest criminal activity at the Meadows leaves locals frustrated

Paramedics fired for allowing patient to crawl for treatment on Downtown Eastside: court documents

The man spent three days in intensive care and three months recovering in hospital from sepsis

Feds seeking private consultant to design firearm buyback program

The ban covers some 1,500 models and variants of what the government considers assault-style weapons

Face masks for teachers can impact learning on young children, experts say

Face coverings, mandatory in most indoor public places across the province, can help limit the spread of COVID-19

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Most Read