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)

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

Christmas will look a bit different in Cumberland this year, not only because of COVID restrictions but due to changes from BC Hydro about hanging decorations on the poles. Record file photo
Snowflakes a no-go for Cumberland’s power poles

Village, business association looking to promote shopping local for holidays

The Trenton Golden Hawks are changing their name and uniform for one game on Nov. 27 as they become the Trenton Snowbirds for one game to honour Capt. Jennifer Casey. Twitter photo
Hockey team honouring fallen Snowbird with Comox Valley connection

The Trenton Golden Hawks will become the Trenton Snowbirds for one game

A late-blooming Welsh poppy gave the Cox garden some unexpected colour last month. Photo by Leslie Cox
DUCHESS OF DIRT: La Nina signs not necessarily steeped in science

LESLIE COX Special to The Record I am beginning to think climate… Continue reading

The suspect is described as approximately 20-25 years old, between 5’3 to 5’4, with dark hair. He was wearing black Adidas pants, white shoes, and a puffy grey jacket. Photo supplied
Attempted robbery in Courtenay

Investigators from the Comox Valley RCMP Major Crime Unit are investigating

The Fifth Street Bridge requires structural improvements, new coating to repair and prevent corrosion, and deck repairs. File photo
Fifth Street Bridge repairs to proceed in Courtenay

The unofficial results are in for the Fifth Street Bridge Rehabilitation Alternative… Continue reading

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Picture of two swans leaving the Cowichan estuary moments before one was shot out of the sky. (Submitted photo)
Petition to stop hunting in Cowichan estuary after swan shot

Hunters blame shooting on illegal poachers

Bob Higgins pulls the gate across on the elevator built inside his home. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Island man’s expertise earns international award with home-built elevator

Experience put to use in winning contest entry for furniture and home projects

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

A fentanyl test strip is used at Vancouver Coastal Health in Vancouver, Tuesday, January, 21, 2020. The test strips will be made available to drug users to ensure that their drugs are safe and free of Fentanyl. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Drug overdoses lead to 5 deaths each day in October; drug toxicity continues to increase

COVID-19 crisis continues to exacerbate the overdose crisis

Most Read