Man accused of May 2021 Kelowna killing in court this week for pre-trial voir dire

Accused killer in court

Evidence in a Kelowna murder case was first heard Thursday morning in Kelowna court, but the jury trial is still close to a year away.

Lorence Williams entered Kelowna Courtroom 1 Thursday for the beginning of the first of several pre-trial voir dires, leading up to his March 2024 jury trial.

Williams, 42, is accused of killing Thomas Chadwick on the evening of May 30, 2021, outside a home on Sexsmith Road near Reid's Corner.

As of last November, Williams remained detained at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Port Coquitlam, but he appeared in person Thursday for the first day of his voir dire.

Voir dires function as a kind of trial within a trial, where a judge will generally rule on the admissibility of evidence that will be allowed at the main trial.

Williams officially entered his plea of not guilty at the beginning of the hearing, but all evidence presented at the voir dire is covered under a publication ban so as to not influence a potential jury.

The current voir dire is scheduled for four days.

Last month, Williams applied for a bail review, but his release was denied. He's remained in custody since his arrest on May 31, the day after Chadwick's death.

Williams main trial is scheduled to begin on March 4, 2024, and it's set for eight-weeks. A number of pre-trial applications in the case are scheduled to run in April, May, June, July and August of this year.

Back in 2021, the alleged murder prompted the Kelowna RCMP to call for additional mental health resources in the community.

Last November, the court heard that Williams was undergoing an assessment to determine if he can be found not criminally responsible for the alleged murder due to mental illness, but it appears the trial will be going ahead.

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