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Naramata murder trial on schedule to begin in Vancouver

Wade Cudmore is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the death of the Fryer brothers
Wade Cudmore seen here with his mom Kathy Richardson, will stand trial in Kelowna for the murders of the Fryer brothers found dead in Naramata in May 2021. Cudmore’s mom was found murdered in her home in June 2021. (Facebook)

One of the men alleged to have committed a double murder in Naramata has spent the last month and a half in a Vancouver courtroom in preparation for his first-degree murder trial which is set to begin on June 3.

Wade Cudmore is co-accused in a double-murder of brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer, which took place in Naramata in May 2021.

Cudmore is co-accused alongside a man named Anthony Graham, whose location is currently unknown.

On May 23, Cudmore appeared in person in the Vancouver Supreme Courtroom for the 42 day of what is scheduled to be a 45-day voir dire.

A voir dire, which can be thought of as a mini-trial to determine the admissibility of evidence, is currently taking place in Vancouver courts. A voir dire is typically held before jury trials begin to ensure inadmissible evidence is not shown to the jurors, which could compromise the fairness of their decision, requiring a re-trial.

All information and evidence discussed in the voir dire is barred from publication under a court-ordered ban to ensure juror neutrality.

The trial was moved from Kelowna to Vancouver after an application by Cudmore’s defence lawyer was approved on July 28.

While the Justice’s reasons for granting the venue change cannot be published due to a publication ban, the most common reasons for a move is to promote fairness and jury impartiality, and ensure the safety of those involved.

Cudmore remains in custody with two charges of first-degree murder in relation to the deaths of the Fryer brothers, whose bodies were found on a remote road in Naramata.

“Their homicides are believed to be connected to gang and drug activities, with alleged criminal activities not limited to Naramata but other areas of BC including Northern BC and the Lower Mainland,” said Supt. Sanjaya Wijayakoon of the BC RCMP Major Crime Section in response to the death of the brothers.

No arrests were made immediately after the deaths but less than one month later, on June 9, Cudmore’s mother Kathy Richardson was found dead in her home in Naramata.

Cudmore was arrested and taken into custody one day later, on June 10.

Members of what the RCMP have referred to as a ‘rival gang’ have been arrested in relation to Richardson’s death.

Ekene Angibo, who was listed as one of Vancouver’s “top six gang members” by the Vancouver police department in 2021, and Jalene Falk are facing charges of first-degree murder in the death of Richardson.

A third individual, 21-year-old Shahram Tokhy from Coquitlam, was charged with conspiracy to commit murder for a May 25 targeted shooting in Prince George. Graham was last seen in Prince George in 2021 and in November of that year RCMP issued a missing person report for him.

READ MORE: 2 charged in Naramata murder remain in custody with no trial date

Jury selection for Cudmore’s trial will take place on May 30, and the trial will begin in Vancouver on June 3.

More than a month has been set aside for the proceedings and is scheduled to conclude on Aug. 23.

READ MORE: Third Lower Mainland gang member charged after arrests in murder of Naramata woman

Jacqueline Gelineau

About the Author: Jacqueline Gelineau

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