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‘I killed my husband’: Trial starts for Kelowna woman charged with 2nd degree murder

Billie-Jo Bennett is charged with the second degree murder of her husband James
An RCMP cruiser parked outside the Bennett’s home in October 2021. (Kelowna Capital News)

WARNING: This story contains graphic details that may be triggering to some readers.

A Kelowna Supreme Court was shown a video of a woman describing how she had stabbed her spouse while he slept back in October 2021.

Tuesday Feb. 7, was the first day of trial for Billie-Jo Bennett, the woman charged with the second-degree murder of James Bennett.

The Kelowna woman is currently undergoing a forensic psychiatric evaluation, which will be completed before the trial resumes on May 29. In January, Billie-Jo’s lawyer said that the charged will not request a right for a preliminary trial.

READ MORE: Kelowna woman charged with murder of partner has case moved to Supreme Court

RCMP reported a suspicious death on Oct. 18, 2021, after officers were called to the Bennett’s basement suite on Bechard Road. At that time the body of James Bennett was discovered and Billie-Jo was arrested and interrogated. She was released the next day without charges. Billie-Jo was then apprehended under the Mental Health Act before being arrested several weeks later on Dec. 8 and then charged with second degree murder.

A video of her being questioned by police after being arrested on the day of her husband’s death was shown as evidence.

“I killed my husband,” said Billie-Jo in the video.

While in court, Billie-Jo held her head in her hands as she listened to the recording of herself explaining the events surrounding the incident.

In the video, Billie-Jo said that she stabbed James while he was in bed sleeping after his night shift.

“You’ve got to realize he’s a very small man and it’s a big knife.”

She said that she asked for forgiveness immediately after stabbing him.

“I said ‘I love you with all my heart, please forgive me’,” said Billie-Jo on the recording.

Billie-Jo said that she left the room after seeing James’ eyes close for the last time and called 911.

“I have come to realize that I have done the most horrible thing in my life and it will not go away and I know I am going to jail. I have done a crime which is killing the person that you love and you can’t take it back.”

Billie-Jo said that she had also planned to kill herself after the stabbing.

In the recording, Billie-Jo said that she killed James because she “didn’t want him to know the secrets she was holding.”

Billie-Jo said that she did not want to upset James by telling him about their money troubles, as she claimed to be the person responsible for the finances.

“I thought it would be easier for me to be here and deal with things than him.”

She said “killing James would relieve him of all,” and he wouldn’t have to worry.

Billie-Jo explained that James had a heart of gold and had never harmed her, but he would get quiet when he was mad, which she did not like.

“I didn’t want to hurt him or make him angry at me.”

During the questioning, Billie-Jo said that she first thought about killing him Friday, Oct. 15, by hitting him with her car.

She said that she had initially tried to kill him on Sunday morning but “couldn’t do it,” and said that James never knew about her plans.

Billie-Jo describes James as being a loving husband that was “so good about cleaning up,” and would prepare her coffee for her before she left for work in the morning.

“I killed him, and he didn’t deserve that.”

The court date was initially scheduled as a voir dire, which is a separate hearing to determine a question of law, including the admissibility of evidence, however, the case was changed to a full trial by judge alone.

Billie-Jo has not applied for bail since her arrest on Dec. 8, 2021.

READ MORE: Kelowna woman charged with murder following partner’s death


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Jacqueline Gelineau

About the Author: Jacqueline Gelineau

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