A person who shot 4 folks to loss of life in Penticton, B.C., over a neighbours’ dispute addressed the victims’ households in a tense sentencing listening to on Thursday, apologizing for murdering their family members and “shattering” their lives.
“I’m really, really sorry for what I’ve completed,” stated John Brittain, talking haltingly from the prisoner’s field in B.C. Supreme Courtroom on Thursday. “I’ve disrupted so many lives.”
Brittain, 69, is ready to be sentenced this afternoon after pleaded responsible Wednesday to 3 counts of first-degree homicide and one depend of second-degree homicide in reference to the shootings on April 15, 2019.
He killed Rudi Winter, Darlene Knippelberg and Susan and Barry Wonch at their properties, taking pictures every of them a number of instances in lower than an hour. Courtroom has heard he believed the victims, who have been all neighbours, had been harassing his estranged spouse for years.
Brittain apologized first to her, his surviving former partner, earlier than addressing the victims’ households within the Kelowna, B.C., courtroom.
“To [my ex-wife], I need to apologize for this. She had no concept I’d have completed such a factor,” he stated, taking prolonged pauses between sentences.
“To the households, my subsequent apologies — I’m shattered and devastated for what I’ve completed.”
The households, sitting metres away behind a transparent Plexiglas barrier, wiped away tears as Brittain spoke.
He stated he had a breakdown earlier than the taking pictures, attributing his psychological state to the latest separation from his spouse and 20 years of being overworked and depressed.
He ended his assertion with an apology to the cops who had to answer the grisly crime scenes.
Brittain prone to die behind bars
Brittain will probably be in jail till he’s at the very least 94 years previous, as a first-degree homicide conviction comes with an computerized life sentence with no eligibility for parole for 25 years.
He beforehand instructed the courtroom he understands he’ll probably die behind bars.
His defence lawyer opened the listening to Thursday by acknowledging no sentence would consolation the spouses, kids and households of the 4 seniors who have been killed.
Nonetheless, the defence stated Brittain’s surprising determination to plead responsible this month ought to be a mitigating think about his sentence, because it spared the households and group the ache of a month-long quadruple-murder trial.
The lawyer stated Brittain’s age, lack of prison historical past and determination to right away flip himself in to police after the shootings must also be elements.
Brittain drove himself to the RCMP detachment in Penticton after killing Winter, then the Wonchs, then Knippelberg. He instructed police he needed to show himself in as a result of he had simply killed 4 folks and instructed officers the place to search out the our bodies.
Crown prosecutors had requested Justice Alison Beames to condemn Brittain to a life sentence with out the possibility of parole for 40 years — 10 years of parole ineligibility for every sufferer. The defence requested for 25 years earlier than parole eligibility.