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

First Police Board meeting Thursday a ‘pivotal moment’ in Surrey’s history, mayor says

The 10 a.m. “virtual” meeting Aug. 6 will be live-streamed and details on tuning in will be available at surrey.ca/policeboard

Parking facility for 100 trucks coming to North Surrey at cost of $30M

‘It’s often difficult to find suitable parking for large transport trucks,’ says association boss

Keno machine shutdown was no tech glitch, it was $50K prize for Surrey woman

Ticket checked at the Panorama Shell store in Surrey

BC ACORN to release Surrey housing report on Thursday

Organizers say the report contains steps on how the City of Surrey can “ease” the city’s housing “crisis”

Surrey firefighters battle truck, trailer fires in Brownsville

One man was take to Surrey Memorial Hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

Gangster Jarrod Bacon released from prison for third time

Parole board continues to express concerns about Bacon’s behaviour

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

UPDATE: Man injured in targeted shooting in Maple Ridge

Shots fired from one vehicle into a white Hyundai

What exactly is ‘old growth’ B.C. forest, and how much is protected?

Forests minister Doug Donaldson doesn’t support ‘moratorium’

Don’t leave your hand sanitizer in the sun and other tips to stay COVID safe this summer

Being mindful of staying outside and keeping hand sanitizer, sunscreen out of the sun recommended

Canadians can travel to Hawaii in September; no quarantine with negative COVID test

Travellers will be required to pay for their own tests prior to arriving

Most Read