The man accused of killing Robert (Keith) Wharton

Accused murderer set to go on trial in February

Man charged in connection with two shooting deaths near Princeton slated for five-week jury trial in Penticton

The trial for a man accused of firing the shots that killed two people and wounded another is set to begin Feb. 16 in B.C. Supreme Court in Penticton.

John Ike Koopmans was 49 when he was arrested in March 2013 and charged with two counts of murder and a single count of attempted murder stemming from an incident at a property on Old Hedley Road in Princeton.

He’s alleged to have shot and killed Robert Keith Wharton, 44, and Rosemary Fox, 32, and injured another man.

At a pre-trial conference Friday in Penticton, both Crown counsel Frank Dubenski and defence counsel Don Skogstad indicated they’re set for the five-week trial in mid-February, but agreed that coming to terms on an agreed statement of facts beforehand would likely reduce the time required for the hearing.

B.C. Supreme Court Associate Chief Justice Austin Cullen, who will preside over the jury trial, called for one final conference with the lawyers in early January to further refine the time estimate.

Koopmans, who is in custody, was committed to stand trial following a six-day preliminary inquiry in February in provincial court in Penticton.