John Brittain

Sheriffs escort accused killer John Brittain into the Penticton courthouse.

If he stands by his decision to have a jury decide his fate, John Brittain will seek to have his trial moved to the Lower Mainland, a judge heard Wednesday.

Brittain is charged with four counts of murder in connection with an April 2019 shooting spree in Penticton.

“To say the least, this is the media story of the year in Penticton,” defence counsel Paul McMurray said during a pre-trial conference in B.C. Supreme Court in Penticton.

Because of that publicity, continued McMurray, it would be impossible to find 12 impartial jurors anywhere in the Okanagan.

Crown counsel Colin Forsyth said he would oppose a change-of-venue application if Brittain does indeed file one.

McMurray, however, said he’s also in discussions with his client to have the trial heard by judge alone, in which case it could be staged in Penticton.

Regardless, both sides agree the trial, tentatively expected to last eight weeks, has no chance of starting any time before October at the very earliest.

Brittain has been behind bars since he turned himself in at the Penticton RCMP detachment on the day of the shootings.

The four people gunned down were all neighbours of Brittain’s ex-wife, Kathy.