Details have emerged in civil court about an unsolved murder in Penticton that happened over a year ago.
The common law spouse of the man shot to death in a motel last June is fighting to receive the life insurance payout.
Correction: The Western News previously reported it was the Leadbeater’s ex-spouse who is the beneficiary of the life insurance payout, it was in fact Leadbeater’s common law spouse at the time of his death. The Western News apologizes for the error.
Darren Leadbeater, 36, was reported as the victim of a June 4, 2015 shooting at the Golden Sands Resort Motel by Penticton RCMP, who have not put forward a suspect or any findings since.
So far the only details that have materialized are through a Supreme Court lawsuit filed by Leadbeater’s spouse Leanne Bishop.
According to public court documents obtained by the Western News, Manulife Financial was initially withholding the $205,000 life insurance policy Leadbeater had through his employer, with the only beneficiaries being Bishop and her children. The reasoning Manulife offered in their response to the claim was “(Manulife) sought confirmation from the authorities and/or police that (Bishop) was not involved in the death of Leadbeater.”
Read more: Homicide victim identified as Penticton man
The response from Manulife also states the insurance company made numerous inquiries with police. On Nov. 9, 2015 they were informed by RCMP that Bishop’s status in the investigation of Leadbeater’s murder was changed from “suspect” to “witness,” however “could not confirm that Bishop’s involvement in the homicide had been ruled out.”
Manulife also states Bishop subjected herself to a polygraph examination and the results contributed to changing her designation from suspect to witness.
The application made by Manulife to have the money and accrued interest paid to the court for holding also states the insurance company was contacted by the primary investigator on the case. They advised Leadbeater had been involved with organized crime “which significantly widened the suspect pool,” and that “Bishop’s new boyfriend’s involvement in the homicide could not be ruled out.”
The investigator stated that until criminal charges were filed, Bishop’s status in the investigation could still change.
Bishop also claims aggravated damages due to losses while Manulife is withholding the money.
“She’s been left without a spouse and the kids have been left without a dad and the insurance company is refusing to pay out benefits to both of them at this point,” said Bishop’s counsel Tyrone Duerr. “It’s a sad situation.”
In Supreme Court on Nov. 7, Justice Dev Dley granted Manulife’s application to have the funds paid into court as Bishop’s action against the insurance company continues.