A West Kelowna man facing murder charges after his wife was found dead in their burned-down home is still without a date to stand trial — more than four years after her death.
Kevin Costin was arrested May 26, 2017, and charged with second-degree murder, arson and indignity to human remains in the November 2015 death of his wife, 37-year-old Hazel Budiongan.
After an already lengthy wind through Kelowna courts, Costin’s trial was slated to begin with jury selection on April 14. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the altering of court procedures, that trial did not go ahead.
Now, a voir dire, a trial within a trial to determine the validity of evidence, has been scheduled for June 15, further delaying the jury trial.
BC Prosecution Service communications counsel Dan McLaughlin said the Crown is exploring new dates for a trial.
Budiongan was found dead inside her Boucherie Road home on Nov. 4, 2015, after firefighters were called to the residence for reports of ablaze.
When the smoke cleared, firefighters found Budiongan’s body. Her death was determined to be a homicide.
“The 18-month long investigation culminated in the identifying of the person alleged to be responsible for her death and charge approval being received from Crown counsel based on the investigation’s findings,” Insp. Anna Marie Mallard said in a press release at the time of Costin’s arrest.
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