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

More than 250 riders took part in the fifth annual Tripleshot CrossFondo, which riders across parts of the Saanich Peninsula, including this field near Sluggett Farms. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Tripleshot CrossFondo rides across Saanich Peninsula

More than 250 cyclists took part in mystery-course race

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

A 23-foot sailboat that broke free from its anchor was smashed against Cattle Point during the early October south-easterly storms. (Ron Geezin Photo)
Storm-smashed boat pulled off rocks of Cattle Point in Oak Bay

Sailboat a casualty of last week’s big storms

Saanich police are warning residents to be aware of a non-aggressive bear sighting in the 400-block of Haliburton Terrace. (Black Press Media file photo)
Non-aggressive bear spotted in Saanich neighbourhood

Saanich police advise residents to be aware of sighting in the 400-block of Haliburton Terrace

Fireworks are allowed in Saanich but only on Halloween night and only if the person setting them off has taken the certification course through the Saanich Fire Department. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich’s Halloween fireworks, bonfire permitting process moves online

Firefighter outlines COVID-19-friendly process as spooky celebrations approach

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

(File photo)
RCMP: Two men face charges in reported Parksville fatal hit-and-run

Investigation into man’s death began in August of 2019

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

Steven Michael Bacon pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder of Nanaimo teen Makayla Chang. (Photos submitted)
Accused pleads not guilty in Nanaimo teen’s 2017 murder

Steven Bacon appeared in Nanaimo court Monday via video link from Thunder Bay

Voting station at Tzeachten Hall in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent on the first day of advance voting in the provincial election on Oct. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. VOTES 2020: 380,000 British Columbians head to polls in first 4 days of advance voting

Some of highest voter turnout so far has been seen on Vancouver Island and in Shuswap

Grant and Barbara Howse, in quarantine in Invermere. Mike Turner photo
Denied entry into U.S., Kootenay couple still forced to quarantine for 2 weeks

The rules around crossing the U.S. border led to a bizarre situation for an Invermere couple

Most Read