Pair of Kelowna murder cases slowly making way through courts

Murder cases in court

A pair of murder cases made appearances in Kelowna court Monday, but publication bans prevent the reporting of most details.

Dereck Sears, born 1979, is facing a second-degree murder charge in relation to the death of Darren Middleton, whose body was found on June 17, 2021 at a home in the 1200-block of Sycamore Road in Kelowna.

He appeared in court Monday for a voir dire—a hearing within a hearing to determine the admissibility of evidence. The contents of the hearing is covered by a publication ban. Sears remains behind bars.

He will go to trial on the murder charge on Oct. 3, 2023.

Lorence Williams, 42, was in Kelowna court Monday for a voir dire—one of several that were scheduled in advance of his March 2024 jury trial. Again, nothing from the hearing can be reported due to a publication ban so as to not influence a potential jury. Williams remains in prison.

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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