Tuesday, September 2nd12.8°C

Bobbitt hearing continues

The dangerous offender hearing for David Bobbitt continued on Tuesday in a Penticton court room.

The first portion of the hearing concluded in July, and resumed with four witnesses testifying in regards to an earlier incident in 2007.

During questioning by crown counsel Nashina Devji, the first witness, Const. Jeff Cranton, who was with the Penticton RCMP at the time, described injuries sustained by an alleged sexual assault victim in February of 2007.

Cranton said that while speaking with the woman in an interview room, he saw bruising on the bridge of her nose and cheeks and marks on her neck.

It appeared that she feared for her safety and she was crying throughout the statement, he recalled.

Defence lawyer James Pennington then asked the witness about the scratches and if they were still bleeding or had scabbed over.

The witness recalled they were scabbed over. 

He further asked if the officer took any notes with respect to her sobriety, to which he responded he did not take any notes. He answered no, when Pennington asked if he noticed any odour.

Second witness Marlo Riley, a cab driver, told crown counsel, he picked up the alleged victim from a market on Skaha Lake Road in February of 2007.

He recalled it was a lady and a couple of dogs, and she got in with her dogs and asked him to take her to hospital, but stop at a friend's place first on the Penticton Indian Reserve.

He said the woman was crying the whole time and very upset, but he did not smell alcohol on her.

Defence lawyer James Pennington asked the witness if other than telling the driver where she wanted to go if there was any chit chat.

The witness said no. He also said he did not detect an odour of alcohol on the woman.

When Pennington said, you didn't notice any physical injury, the witness said, no, he couldn't really tell.

Other witnesses included Jean Pounder, presently the front counter clerk for the Penticton RCMP, and Cpl. Warren Kraft, who works in the forensic identification section for the Penticton RCMP.

Pounder described being responsible for releasing an item to Bobbitt, believed to be a digital recorder or recording, on June 4, 2007.

Pennington asked the witness to specifically think back to that day, but the witness could not give him specifics from back in 2007.

Kraft, the last witness of the day, talked about photographs he took of the woman, showing some of the injuries, and pictures of stains taken at the location where the alleged sexual assault took place.

Pennington asked when Kraft attended at the trailer, if he met anyone there and if he recalled when the search warrant was placed. Kraft said sometime after 8:30 p.m.

The hearing is expected to continue on Wednesday and Friday of this week and Monday, Tuesday and Friday next week.

Witnesses on Wednesday are expected to testify regarding the alleged incident in 2007 and the more recent incident in 2011.

No charges were laid in the 2007 incident, but Bobbitt was charged with a violent assault on a young woman at Dave's Second Hand Store in Penticton in 2011. Her toddler was found unharmed nearby.

He pleaded guilty to the counts he was facing in April of 2013.

Crown counsel, said Tuesday, that as far as they knew, the victim in the 2011 incident would not be called to testify.


Dead rock climber identified

The BC Coroners Service has confirmed the identity of a man who died following a rock-climbing incident near Penticton on Saturday.

He was Stas Eric Gray, 31, from Seattle, Washington.

Gray was with several friends who were rock-climbing at Skaha Bluffs, a world-class rock-climbing site south of Penticton, on the afternoon of Aug. 30.

They had completed two successful climbs and Gray was rappelling down on his third climb of the day when he fell approximately the last eight metres of the climb.

Despite the best efforts of fellow- climbers and emergency personnel,  Gray died at the scene.

The BC Coroners Service and RCMP continue to investigate the death.

Penticton council highlights

Penticton council is expected to discuss repairs and maintenance at the historic Leir House at tonight's, Tuesday's, meeting.

Staff is recommending that council direct them to amend the 2014 budget amendment to direct $38,000 of Gas Tax Funds to be spent on the maintenance required.

It is also suggested that council direct staff to work with the Penticton and District Community Arts Council to complete a new mutually acceptable lease prior to July 31, 2015.

The Leir House was built in 1927 and is registered in the Municipal and Provincial Heritage Site Registry. It is also registered as one of Canada's historic places, in the federal registry.

In 1979, the arts council lobbied for the purchase of the Leir House by the city to be administered as a cultural centre by the arts council. In 1980, the Leir House Cultural Centre was officially opened.

In other highlights, the Penticton Curling Rink is seeking a structural change to the existing Liquor Primary License for added service areas to include the main floor seating and rink areas.

Currently, patrons and participants are restricted to the upper floor lounge.

Also under discussion will be a new BCAA building at the Cherry Lane Shopping Centre, signing officers for SOEC bank accounts and an appointment to the regional board.



Man rescued from lake

Naramata Fire and Rescue assisted in a marine rescue on Okanagan Lake, Monday evening.

Fire Chief Tony Trovao said they responded around 7 p.m., after getting a call about an overturned sailboat that a younger man, in his 20s, could not get righted.

The man was in the water for about 30 minutes to an hour, holding on to the backside of the sailboat, he said.

The RCMP commandeered a private boat and got to the man. Penticton Fire initially responded, but were called off.

The man was put in the private boat by the RCMP and then transferred to the Naramata rescue boat.

The man was then dropped off on the Summerland side of the lake, according to Trovao.

The man was a little shaken up but otherwise OK says Trovao. He said the fact the man was wearing a life jacket made a difference.


Hwy. 3 reopens

6:51 p.m. Update:

The vehicle incident 18 km west of Keremeos is now clear.

1:46 p.m. update:

Highway 3 is now open one lane alternating every 20 minutes. The route was closed earlier today after a logging truck rolled-over and lost its load.

12:09 p.m. update:

Hwy. 3 is closed due to a logging truck accident.

​The truck rolled over and lost its logs at around 8:30 a.m. about 18 km west of Keremeos Tuesday morning, completely blocking both lanes of the highway.

A line of traffic is backed up for 3 km on the east side of the wreck.

The driver has minor injuries.

The route is expected to be open by 12:30 p.m..

Another logging truck overturned near the same location on Aug. 1.

9:30 a.m.: Highway 3 is closed in both directions 18 km west of Keremeos.

DriveBC reported the vehicle incident just after 9 a.m. Tuesday.

There is no estimated time of opening, but an assessment is in progress. No detour is available.

DriveBC says the next update will be at 11 a.m..

Send photos and video to [email protected]

Parents protest strike


Video by Deborah Pfeiffer.

Penticton parents and their children voiced concerns about the ongoing teachers' strike at a rally in the city Tuesday morning.

On the morning, when students would typically be returning to school, the group of around 100 people gathered on a grassy patch across the street from Penticton Secondary School.

The rally was organized by parent Shaunna Murray who is feeling frustrated about kids being caught in the middle.

"We are not here to choose sides, but just wanting to make sure we focus on these kids because I think it gets lost in the big picture," said Murray, who created the Facebook event, Back to School BC Parents Protest, last week.

Public schools in BC remain closed following a breakdown in talks that dashed any hopes parents and students had of classes starting as scheduled, today.

The teachers' union and government bargaining teams barely spoke to each other all summer and despite a flurry of action over the weekend, negotiations fell apart.

Parent Barry Pattman said he was at Tuesday's rally because he has one child, 17, entering Grade 12 at Princess Margaret Secondary School.

"The biggest concern for our household and for many others with Grade 12 students is university admission," he said. "No school affects the provincial exams, early admission and qualifying for bursaries and scholarships. Now with this the way it is, private school, out of province applicants and international students are at an advantage when applying to BC universities.

Historically when there have been disruptions of this nature in other jurisdictions, over 25 percent of the students impacted never go to university."

Melissa Arneil, the parent of two children, 8 and 2, said she is really worried if the children don't go back to school soon, that when they do go back they will forget what they learned, or have a negative attitude toward teachers.

"My daughter is very upset with the teachers right now," she said.

Arneil, a stay at home mom, is trying to do as much home schooling as she can right now.

Murray said she is lucky to have family around who are helping out, but that she absolutely feels for other parents.

"I've been there where you don't have family around, and it's hard," she said.

Wages and teaching conditions such as class size and composition have been at the heart of the labour dispute that began in June, when teachers walked off the job in a rotating and then full scale strike two weeks before summer vacation.

More than half of the people who took a Castanet poll on the topic say they want to see a deal negotiated, not legislated.

Here is the poll:

The Canadian Press contributed to story


Crash hospitalizes 2


The RCMP have released more details regarding this crash earlier today

It turns out the motorcycle was travelling east on Highway 3 when it lost control in a switchback turn. As it skidded it came into contact with a vehicle towing a boat. 

Both the driver and the passenger of the motorcycle were ejected from their seats and the passenger was hit by the boat trailer. 

The driver, a 64-year-old man, sustained non-life-threatening injuries while the passenger, a 72-year-old woman sustained serious, life-threatening injuries and was airlifted to hospital.

The driver of the vehicle sustained no injuries.

Road were wet due to drizzling rain and traffic was otherwise light on the highway. 

Intoxication is not considered to be a factor.

UPDATE 2:45 P.M.

A witness told Castanet that traffic on Highway 3 was heavily backed up and flow was reduced to single lane alternating while the crash was cleared.

Around 12:45 p.m. the air ambulance was on scene and brought the two injured people to Kelowna General Hospital. The extent and nature of their injuries is currently unknown.

It is still unclear what caused the crash and whether other vehicles were involved in the incident. 

The crash took place approximately 15 kilometres west of Princeton in a switchback turn. Conditions were damp and the road may have been slippery.

Two people are being airlifted to hospital after the motorcycle they were riding collided head on with another vehicle. 

At 11:45 a.m. the air ambulance was called to a crash about 20 kilometres west of Princeton on Highway 3. 

The bike apparently crashed into another vehicle in the hair pin turns near the Whipsaw Creek area.

The injuries of those involved are unknown.

It is unclear whether the highway is closed at this time.

More details to follow.

Read more Penticton / S. Okanagan News


Recent Trending



Castanet pays for news tips. Email us a news tip, photo, or video and your name will be in a draw for our weekly news tip prize $25. Email us [email protected]


Penticton SPCA Featured Pet

Kilo Penticton SPCA >


South Okanagan Quick Links City of Penticton
Penticton Tourism
Penticton Transit
Okanagan Falls
Town of Oliver
Town of Osoyoos
Town of Keremeos
Interior Health
Okanagan College
Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen
Penticton & Wine Country Chamber
Penticton Discussion Forum
District of Summerland
Summerland Chamber & Tourism
School District 67 - Okanagan Skaha
School District 53 - Okanagan Similkameen
Okanagan Regional Library
Township of Hedley

Member of BC Press Council