Smoking rubble is all that remains of the Robinsmith home in the Botanie Valley near Lytton following the wildfire of 2014. Image: BRIDGE RIVER LILLOOET NEWS

2014 Lytton wildfire arson trial may be delayed by pandemic

Percival Williams is slated to stand trial next month in Kamloops on one count of arson

  • Apr. 14, 2020 1:07 p.m.

The trial of a 50-year-old Lytton man accused of intentionally setting a 2014 wildfire that ballooned to 1,500 hectares could be delayed due to the closure of most B.C. courts amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Percival Williams is slated to stand trial next month in Kamloops on one count of arson.

Williams was charged in connection to the Botanie Creek wildfire, which torched Crown land, private land and property belonging to the Lytton First Nation.

During the blaze, which raged for weeks and destroyed two structures, 45 homes were evacuated and a state of local emergency was declared.

At the time of Williams’ arrest in 2017, Lytton Mounties said the arson charge was laid after a detailed investigation including the BC Wildfire Service.

Williams’ four-day trial is scheduled to begin on May 4 in B.C. Supreme Court in Kamloops.

May 4 is also the date that has been set for lawyers to meet at the Kamloops Law Courts to set dates for B.C. Supreme Court files delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To this point, the court has only been hearing urgent matters. Williams is not in custody, so his trial would likely not be deemed urgent.

READ MORE: Man shot in North Kamloops, three in custody

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