Murder suspect widely admired by Highlands colleagues, friends
Neighbours, friends and colleagues of Ken Brotherston are still trying to piece together how a councillor, longtime community member and family man came to be charged with first-degree murder.
Brotherston, a councillor from the rural municipality of Highlands, has been charged in connection with the death of 33-year-old Keith William Taylor, whose body was dropped off at the West Shore RCMP headquarters in Langford Friday night.
People who know Brotherston said they are shocked.
Al Pellett, who grew up with Brotherston and lives on the same street as the family on Munns Road, said there weren’t many kids around the secluded, wooded area and that Brotherston was “kind of like the younger brother [to me].”
“He was a first-class, upstanding guy,” Pellet said.
The Brotherstons are a wellknown fixture in the Highlands area, their roots dating back 66 years. Several family members own more than 100 acres of land around Munns Road.
Brotherston and his wife, Marie, live in a modest green bungalow, where yesterday, multi-coloured Christmas lights were still strung on the roof and a toddler’s stroller was on the front porch. A couple who identified themselves as relatives drove up to the house and went inside, but would not comment on the situation.
The couple has two sons, Kenneth and Gregory, and a daughter.
Brotherston owned a logging company, Brotherston Logging Co. Ltd., which did some work for the Bear Mountain Resort in 2001.
Several neighbours said the Brotherstons are a private family who keep to themselves.
Len Tolson, who lives across the road from the family’s sprawling property, said he followed Brotherston’s work on council and thought he was doing a good job. “I always had fine feelings toward Ken and what he’s done on council.”
Brotherston has served on Highlands council since 2002. Marie served alongside her husband from 2002 to 2005.
As a councillor, Brotherston pushed for industrial and commercial growth in the southwest Highlands, including his support for the controversial Bear Mountain residential development.
Coun. Andrew Fall said Brotherston cares about the community and is always friendly and good-natured. Fall said he still can’t believe the charges facing his colleague.
“It’s just hard to wrap my mind around it,” he said. “He was always kind of a gentle giant kind of guy.”
Brotherston is to remain in custody until a June 12 court appearance.