Murder suspects wind their way through court

Kamloops has recorded three homicides this year, all the result of stabbings.

Two Kamloops men facing murder charges in connection with separate fatal stabbings will be in court later this month as lawyers work to set dates for preliminary inquiries.

Jason Michael Holm and James Dylan Sanford each made brief appearances on Monday in Kamloops provincial court.

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Holm, 37, is charged with second-degree murder in connection with the the Aug. 1 stabbing death of 39-year-old Paul Samuel Whitten.

Police said they were called to a home on Clarke Street in the West End, where Whitten was found with serious injuries. He later died and Holm was arrested a short time later.

The Independent Investigations Office, B.C.’s arm’s-length police watchdog, is looking into the circumstances that led up to Whitten’s death because Mounties had been looking for Holm before Whitten was killed.

“On July 31, Kamloops RCMP received a call from a woman who was concerned about the mental health of a male relative,” the IIO said in a news release this past summer. “Officers visited the man’s home but reported being unable to locate him.”

Sanford, 32, is charged with second-degree murder in relation to the Sept. 12 stabbing death of 33-year-old Daniel Thomas Myles.

Police said they were called to the Acadian Inn east of downtown, where they found Myles suffering serious injuries.

He was taken by ambulance to Royal Inland Hospital, where he later died.

Sanford was arrested about two hours after police responded to the Columbia Street motel.

Holm is slated to return to Kamloops provincial court on Oct. 19, while Sanford is expected to appear next on Oct. 22.

Kamloops has recorded three murders so far in 2020. Michael Wayne Palmer, charged following a fatal stabbing spree on March 28, is expected to return to court early next year. Palmer, 43, is charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of John Rene Kevin White, as well as three counts of attempted murder.

In March, police said the stabbings took place at a house party inside a Carson Crescent apartment in North Kamloops, but White’s family has taken issue with that description, saying he was following COVID-19 protocols at the time.

Ashleigh Danielle Tschritter, charged with second-degree murder in connection with the Sept. 6 death of David Simpson near Clearwater, also appeared briefly in Kamloops provincial court on Monday.

She is scheduled to return to court on Oct. 22, when she is expected to elect trial by judge or jury.

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