Kelowna woman’s murder trial delayed until spring

Click to play video: 'Kelowna cops facing backlog in charge process, diminished partner resources'
Kelowna cops facing backlog in charge process, diminished partner resources
Kelowna RCMP Supt. Kara Triance said there is a massive backlog of criminal files that has been forwarded to the BC Prosecution Service for charge approvals – Mar 2, 2022

The trial for a Kelowna, B.C., woman accused of killing her partner in 2021 has been set back several months as the court works to accommodate pre-trial applications, the BC Prosecution Service said Wednesday.

Billie Jo Bennett was scheduled to face a judge and jury on the charge of second-degree murder Jan. 9, but the trial is now tentatively scheduled to get underway in the spring.

Read more: Trial date set for Kelowna woman charged with killing husband

“It is currently set for May 29 but may start sooner if pre-trial matters are concluded,” Dan McLaughlin, with the BC Prosecution Service, said.

“She has re-elected to be tried by Supreme Court judge sitting without a jury.”

Click to play video: 'Kelowna RCMP superintendent calls for more officers'
Kelowna RCMP superintendent calls for more officers

Bennett, 54, is accused of the second-degree murder of James Wesley Bennett.

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Bennett was charged in early December 2021, though she was first arrested in the immediate aftermath of the Oct. 18, 2021, homicide in the 600 block of Bechard Road.

Read more: Woman charged in Kelowna, B.C. homicide headed straight to judge and jury trial

She was released the next day when the BC Prosecution Service didn’t apply charges and Supt. Kara Triance, Kelowna’s top cop, called a press conference on Oct. 22, 2021, to address questions raised in the wake of the investigation, which had seemingly hit an impasse.

The woman was apprehended under the Mental Health Act shortly after, but at that point, RCMP officers were cut out of the loop, Triance said at the time.

It was a matter she described as frustrating.

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