Preliminary trial proceedings will determine if Joseph Knelsen will face a first degree murder trial.

Preliminary trial starts for first degree murder case

The preliminary trial has begun for a former Vanderhoof man facing a first degree murder charge in the death of Langford man

  • Thu Oct 20th, 2011 6:00am
  • News

Charla Huber

Black Press

Witnesses have started testifying at the preliminary trial of Joseph Knelsen, a former Vanderhoof man facing a first degree murder charge in the death of Langford man, Gordon Berg.

Berg was found deceased at 11 p.m. on March 7 at a Mill Hill home in Langford. A publication ban prohibits printing testimony from the preliminary trial.

Families of both men attended court. Members of Berg’s family wept as witnesses described events surrounding the alleged homicide of March 7.

One Crown witness gave a tearful breakdown of the evening and needed to take breaks from speaking. Another Crown witness gave testimony via video link.

Knelsen, 44, observed the proceedings without reacting. He has made a dramatic change of appearance since his arrest on March 8 near Western Speedway. His shaggy, scruffy hair has been cut and he has put on some weight. He wore a beige dress shirt with black dress pants.

The body of 53-year-old Berg was found in his suite in a home at 2557 Jeanine Dr., in Langford. At the time of Berg’s death, Knelsen was living in Langford, but originally hails from Vanderhoof, B.C.

Police have said the men knew each other and there was a weapon involved in the altercation.

In May Knelsen was released from Vancouver Island Correctional Centre on a $100,000 surety bail. He moved back to Vanderhoof to live with his mother as part of his bail conditions.

The preliminary trial heard testimony from Oct. 12 to 14 and is scheduled to continue Oct. 31 to Nov. 2. A judge will determine if the case will proceed to trial.