A woman with no previous criminal record appeared in Kelowna courts on Aug. 12 with charges of second degree murder of her spouse, James Wesley Bennett.
On Oct. 18, 2021, shortly before 7 a.m., Kelowna RCMP responded to a call at a residence on Bechard Road. Officers found the deceased man and arrested Billie-Jo 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.
Aug. 12’s pre-trial conference will be followed up by another appearance on Aug. 30.
The purpose of the conference is to ensure that accurate time estimates have been determined to make sure hearings are completed as scheduled.
Jury selection for the trial is scheduled for January 5, 2023 and the trial will begin on January 9, 2023.
The case is “a matter of intimate partner violence,” said Supt. Kara Triance in a press conference on Oct. 21, 2021. She said the man and the woman were living in the house together and neither of the two were known to police before the incident.
RCMP initially recommended a first-degree murder charge to the B.C. Prosecution Service but it was not approved based on the initial evidence sent, said Triance.