Murder case out of Kelowna suburbia back in Supreme court

The case of ‘intimate partner violence’ will be a trial by jury, beginning Jan. 9

An RCMP cruiser sits outside a home on Kelowna’s Bechard Road after a suspicious death on Monday, Oct. 18, 2021. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)

An RCMP cruiser sits outside a home on Kelowna’s Bechard Road after a suspicious death on Monday, Oct. 18, 2021. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)

A murder case for a death that took place in the suburbs of Kelowna was back in the Kelowna Supreme Court on Sept. 9 for a pre-trial conference.

Billie-Jo Bennett was charged with second degree murder of her spouse, James Wesley Bennett.

The case is “a matter of intimate partner violence,” said Supt. Kara Triance. in a press conference on Oct. 21, 2021. She said Bennett and her partner were living in the house together and neither of the two were known to police before the incident.

READ MORE: B.C. woman’s ‘traumatizing’ sexual assault probe at UBCO leads to human rights complaint

RCMP initially recommended a first-degree murder charge to the BC Prosecution Service but it was not approved based on the initial evidence sent, said Triance.

Second-degree charges are considered when the act is not thought to be premeditated.

On Oct. 18, 2021, shortly before 7 a.m., Kelowna RCMP responded to a call at a residence on Bechard Road. Officers found the dead man and arrested Bennett, 54, at the time. She was released the next day without charge.

Bennett was then apprehended under the Mental Health Act and taken to Kelowna General Hospital. She was arrested again on Dec. 8.

She has been in custody since her arrest.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin for the case on Jan. 7, 2023 and the trial is set to begin on Jan. 9.

READ MORE: Woman in Kelowna court on charges of murder of partner

READ MORE: Kelowna woman charged with murder of partner has case moved to Supreme Court


@Rangers_mom
Jacqueline.Gelineau@kelownacapnews.com

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