Accused killer sent for psychiatric assessment during preliminary inquiry

·1 min read

A Kamloops man facing murder and attempted murder charges stemming from a violent altercation inside a North Shore apartment in March 2020 will undergo a psychiatric assessment.

During a preliminary inquiry in Kamloops Law Courts this week, the court ordered that Michael Wayne Palmer undergo the examination to determine his mental fitness for trial.

Preliminary inquiries are hearings at which a provincial court judge determines whether there is enough evidence for an accused person to stand trial in B.C. Supreme Court. Evidence presented at the hearing is protected by a court-ordered ban on publication.

Palmer, 44, has been in custody since the early-morning hours of March 29, 2020, not long after Kevin White was stabbed to death inside a Carson Crescent apartment. Palmer is accused of killing White, 59, and stabbing three other men inside the suite — a pair of brothers, ages 62 and 58, and a 21-year-old man.

Palmer has said he wishes to represent himself at trial and has elected trial by judge and jury in B.C. Supreme Court.

White was a celebrated author who wrote of his tough times and he was working on his second book at the time of his death. He left behind a daughter and two grandsons who had only recently begun to know him.

He is also charged with assaulting a corrections officer with a weapon at Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre while in custody — a file for which he will be in court on March 1 to confirm a trial date. Palmer will also be in court on that date for an update on his psychiatric assessment.

Michael Potestio, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kamloops This Week