John Brittain has pleaded guilty to 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 mass-murderer to spend life in prison, 25 years before parole

John Brittain murdered four people in a mid-day rampage in 2019; will likely spend rest of life behind bars

The man who murdered four people over a Penticton neighbourhood dispute will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.

John Brittain was sentenced to life behind bars on Thursday, Oct. 15, and will serve 25 years before getting a chance at parole.

Brittain pleaded guilty on Wednesday, Oct. 14, to one of the most brutal incidents in Penticton’s history, killing four of his ex-wife Katherine Brittain’s neighbours —Susan and Barry Wonch, Rudi Winter and Darlene Knippelberg, all of whom were in their 60s and 70s — on April 15, 2019. He entered guilty pleas on all four counts he was facing, which included three counts of first-degree and one count of second-degree murder.

BC Supreme Court Justice Allison Beames delivered her decision after two days of sentencing submissions. Crown had suggested consecutive sentences amounting to 40 years before Brittain would be eligible for parole while defence sought all sentences to be served concurrently. Beames ended up deciding in line with defence counsel’s suggestion.

“The Crown is not wrong to call them execution-style killings,” said Beames while delivering her decision.

“Nothing can bring back the four victims or make their family whole again.”

More to come.

READ MORE: Penticton mass-murderer apologizes: ‘I tragically disrupted so many lives’

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


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