The repeated bail release of a convicted killer in Kelowna was recently discussed in B.C.'s legislature, but now, the Crown has dropped the charges he was facing entirely.
Tyler Newton was charged with aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and use of an imitation firearm following an alleged incident on the morning of Dec. 31, 2021 at a home on West Kelowna's Cameron Road.
On Oct. 28, the week before the case's preliminary inquiry, the Crown stayed all charges against Newton, opting to only prosecute McAlpine instead.
“The charges against Mr. Newton were stayed when the Crown with conduct of the case received new information that caused them to conclude that the charge assessment standard for proceeding with charges was no longer met,” said Dan McLaughlin, spokesperson for the BC Prosecution Service.
While McAlpine has been in custody at the Okanagan Correctional Centre since his arrest last February, Newton was first released on bail on Sept. 8. He failed to show up for his next court appearance just six days later, and a B.C.-wide warrant was issued for his arrest.
At the time, the Kelowna RCMP reached out to the public for help in locating Newton, with RCMP spokesperson Const. Mike Della-Paolera calling Newton a “dangerous repeat offender.”
Following Castanet's reporting, BC Liberal MLA for West Vancouver-Capilano Karin Kirkpatrick brought up the matter in the B.C. Legislature, criticizing B.C.'s handling of “prolific offenders.”
“Why was Tyler Newton's right to reoffend more important to this NDP government than the right of the community to be safe?” Kirkpatrick asked B.C. Attorney General Murray Rankin.
Now, Newton is no longer under bail conditions after the Crown stayed his charges. But he remains under probation conditions, stemming from his convictions last March on multiple charges unrelated to the alleged Dec. 31 assault.
Meanwhile, Newton's former co-accused McAlpine appeared in Kelowna court Wednesday morning by way of video from Okanagan Correctional Centre for his preliminary inquiry. A judge will now determine if the Crown has sufficient evidence to proceed to trial in Supreme Court.
Both Newton and McAlpine have extensive criminal records. Newton fatally stabbed Caesar Rosales on Kelowna's No. 8 bus on the evening of Oct. 30, 2014. The killing was entirely unprovoked and a psychologist later determined Newton had been suffering from drug-induced psychosis at the time.
Newton pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2016 and was handed a seven-year sentence. But with credit for time served, his sentence expired in December 2020. Since completing his manslaughter sentence, he's been convicted of several more recent offences in 2021 and 2022, and he was given six months of additional jail time. He remains under probation conditions from those most recent convictions.