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Victim’s family fearful of Vernon suspect following latest charges

Kenneth Barter involved in 2010 Vernon killing; released despite concerns, facing new assault charges
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Nathan Mayrhofer of Vernon was killed in 2010 and dismembered by a friend, who was not found criminally responsible. (Contributed)

A man involved in a graphic 2010 murder is back in court.

Kenneth Scott Barter was scheduled to stand trial April 13 for charges of assault and assault with a weapon, stemming from a July 2022 incident in Coldstream. That date has now been adjourned for Barter to consult with legal counsel.

Previously, Barter was found not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder on Jan. 10, 2011 on a charge of second-degree murder in connection with the death and dismemberment of his friend Nathan Mayrhofer in a Vernon apartment building in August 2010.

Mayrhofer’s family is “extremely upset and saddened” by the current charges.

“However, we are not surprised at the current situation,” sister Rebecca Mayrhofer said. “In 2019, at the last Review Board Hearing, we, as well as others, expressed our opposition to Ken being released in an absolute discharge.”

The family said there were still very concerning issues with Barter’s continued mental health.

“We felt the board overlooked those concerns to release Ken from the system. Unfortunately, our concerns were proven correct recently.”

Mayrhofer’s family sees Barter as a continued high risk to them and the public.

Barter, born in 1973, is not currently in custody.

“Ken has been and will continue to be a serious risk to the public and our family unless he is permanently monitored,” the family said, advocating that Barter be held under permanent observation as a risk under the Mental Health Act.

They have written letters to the provincial and federal governments telling of their concerns with violent offenders and have been met with blame shifting and silence.

“This is something that has to be addressed because it affects everyone,” said Rebecca, in memory of her brother, who was just 32 years old when he was killed.

“People suffer from mental health issues all the time and have no support systems or a strong grid to help them get better. Instances like this cast a pall on the overall system.

“We need to separate the violent offenders from the general populace. I feel we all face mental health issues in our lives, whether it be ourselves or close ones. The help is not there in general, hospitals are overcrowded and understaffed. And then we lump violent offenders in with others, which is not right, it should be separated. The system needs to be revamped from the ground up. We need to advocate a change in the processes in place, to the governments.”

READ MORE: Barter committed to psych hospital

READ MORE: Vernon killer granted absolute discharge, victim’s family responds


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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

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