Man released on bail as attempted murder trial delayed until June
A Newfoundland man charged with attempted murder in Kelowna has been sentenced to 45 days in jail on other charges and was released on bail while he awaits trial next spring.
On Dec. 4, 2016, Kelowna RCMP responded to a report that a man had been stabbed and had turned up at the Chevron gas station on Harvey Avenue for assistance.
“It is believed that the attack was in retaliation to an assault on a woman that allegedly took place earlier that evening in West Kelowna,” Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey said at the time.
Ken Maurice Butler, 32, was arrested shortly after the stabbing in the 1300 block of Water Street and was charged with attempted murder.
On Dec. 7, 2016, Butler was released on $5,000 bail with 14 conditions, including a curfew and being prohibited from the red zone downtown Kelowna.
On Dec. 20 at 12:14 a.m., an employee at the BNA pub downtown Kelowna called police to report a customer had just failed to pay for some drinks, and he had left a debit card and a Newfoundland ID at the bar.
Police determined it was Butler, and at 12:45 a.m., officers located Butler near Bernard Avenue and Water Street and took him into custody.
Later that day, at 8:18 p.m., guards in the Kelowna RCMP detachment told police Butler had covered the cell camera and the cell he was in with toilet paper and he was yelling and screaming.
“He (was) observed by video punching and hitting a camera, and the camera (stopped) working,” said Crown prosecutor David Grabovac.
Several officers went to the cell at 9:50 p.m., and attempted to restrain Butler.
Butler told one of the officers not to look at him and told him he would spit on him, said Grabovac.
The officer told Butler he would be charged if he did, then Butler spat on him.
The officer was wearing glasses at the time, so the spit did not go into his eyes, but it did go on his forehead and cheek, said Grabovac.
“In my respectful submission, spitting is a very serious offence in police officers, and there should be a sentence of custody for that,” he said.
Grabovac proposed a 60-day sentence for assault on the officer.
The damage to the cell camera was valued at $525.
Grabovac suggested a 30-day jail sentence for the mischief charge and 45 days in jail for breaching his bail, for a global sentence of 60 days.
Defence lawyer Cory Armour submitted Butler should be sentenced to 30 days total for the three offences, all of which Butler pleaded guilty to.
The judge sentenced Butler to a total of 45 days in prison, including 45 days for assault on the officer, 30 days for damaging the camera and 14 days for breaching the conditions of his bail.
On Monday, Butler was released on the prior bail.
The trial for the attempted murder charge was scheduled to begin Monday, but a key witness could not be located in time.
The trial has been pushed back to June 11, 2018.