News Local

Family fears for safety after murder suspect freed on bail

By Erica Bulman, 24 Hours Vancouver

Photo of Lynn Kalmring, who was allegedly murdered by common-law husband Keith Gregory Wiens in Penticton, B.C. Wiens, who is facing a charge of second-degree murder in Kalmring's death, is out on bail. (PHOTO SUBMITTED)

Photo of Lynn Kalmring, who was allegedly murdered by common-law husband Keith Gregory Wiens in Penticton, B.C. Wiens, who is facing a charge of second-degree murder in Kalmring's death, is out on bail. (PHOTO SUBMITTED)

As the next court appearance was set for a man who allegedly murdered his common-law wife, family of the slain Penticton woman blasted what they call lax restrictions against Keith Gregory Wiens.

On Wednesday, a new court date of Sept. 28 was fixed for the retired Okanagan Mountie who was earlier granted bail at $50,000. That decision left family members of victim Lynn Kalmring fearing they'll run into the accused killer in their small community.

"It's sick. He has all the rights," Kalmring's sister Donna Irwin said, adding lawyers believe his trial might not begin until 2013. "We're all terrified. He's got some restrictions but what's he got to lose? He's allowed to go back and live in that house where (my sister was killed).

"Our family lives in fear of running into him either at a grocery store, the bank or the post office."

Wiens allegedly shot 55-year-old Kalmring in the face Aug. 16 in the home they shared. He is charged with second-degree murder.

Under his bail terms, the 56-year-old Weins must remain in his brother's care, surrender his passport, stay in B.C. and report weekly to a bail supervisor.

Calling the justice system "broken," Irwin said she'd fight to change laws, to tighten restrictions on accused killers.

"He should have a curfew, he should have an ankle bracelet so he can't leave that house," Irwin told 24 hours. "Shouldn't he be restricted to his home? Why are we the ones, as the victim's family, living under house arrest?

"Our premier keeps talking about families first. Is this what she means?"