Mother devastated by murder charges her family faces
Marie Brotherston is shattered her husband and two sons are facing first-degree murder charges, but she is holding up, lawyers say.
In a brief statement read by her lawyer Kirk Karaszkiewicz on the steps of Victoria’s courthouse yesterday, Marie said it’s “a difficult time for our family. We have no comment regarding the charges, however we would like to express our sincere gratitude to the community for their support, thoughts and prayers.”
Two-term municipal Coun. Kenneth Stewart Brotherston, 52, and his two sons Gregory Brotherston, 26, and Kenneth Robert Brotherston, 32, are each charged with first-degree murder and unlawful confinement in the May 30 death of Keith William Taylor, 33. They are scheduled to appear in B.C. provincial court on June 12.
Lawyer Mel Hunt, who is representing Greg, said Marie is “devastated,” but added: “I’m impressed with how well she’s bearing up given she was told her husband and two sons are charged with murder.”
According to Hunt and Donald McKay, who is defending Ken Jr., the brothers will plead not guilty to the charges against them. Greg and Ken Jr. were arrested Sunday after they turned themselves in.
Yesterday, McKay questioned why the three men were charged so quickly after Taylor’s death.
“I find this to be an extremely unusual situation. I don’t know, certainly in my experience I haven’t heard of multiple family members being charged the same way,” McKay said. “But nonetheless the speed at which the people were arrested and charged is also unusual.
“It’s a concern that the police may have rushed into this, but I can’t say that they didn’t have sufficient evidence. I’ve not seen anything at this point in time,” McKay said.
Robert Mulligan, lawyer for Ken Sr., noted that Crown counsel must still review the police case and decide whether the charges are appropriate. “Initial conclusions and allegations may not turn out to be true and it’s highly dangerous to jump to the conclusion that they are,” he said.
Mulligan also confirmed yesterday that Ken Sr. drove the black pickup truck to the West Shore RCMP station on Friday with Taylor’s body in the back. He said that Ken Sr. “may well have been charged on whatever the police made of the case in the first few hours of the investigation.”
Mulligan declined to say whether Taylor was alive or dead upon arrival, but referred to media reports that police tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate him.
Currently, the Brotherston men are being held in custody in separate cells. They can apply for bail in B.C. Supreme Court, where all murder bail hearings must be heard, at any time. All three are expected to request bail.