One family's tragic criminal history became longer Monday as police announced the arrest of a 48-year-old Tk'emlups band member charged with killing his common-law wife.
Gerald Raymond Peters is charged with the second-degree murder of his common law wife, 48-year-old Deborah Anne Joseph. She died in a house in the 600 block of East Shuswap Road Saturday night.
Police revealed little about the woman's death during a press conference Monday.
Although initial reports suggested Joseph was stabbed, Cpl. Dan Moskaluk of the RCMP Major Crimes Unit said police won't disclose the manner of her death until the case goes to court.
He also refused to say whether anyone else was in the house at the time. An autopsy was conducted Monday at Royal Inland Hospital.
Peters remains in custody pending a court appearance later this week.
At the time of Joseph's death, Peters was 20 days into an 18-month suspended sentence for the drunken domestic assault of a different girlfriend in July 2011.
The admitted alcoholic was spared additional jail time as well as a no-alcohol condition when he was sentenced in provincial court on Oct. 1 for assault causing bodily harm.
Defence counsel argued that an abstinence order would merely invite a breach of probation, sending Peters back before a judge.
He is the third member of his family to be charged with a violent crime in less than a decade. He's also the victim of serious assault at the hands of his own family.
His older brother Dale Peters was convicted of aggravated assault in 2005 for suddenly attacking Gerald Peters with a piece of wood after the pair got drunk together.
After the attack, Gerald Peters hid along the river until he couldn't see his brother any longer, then he went for help, evidence at Dale Peters' trial revealed.
In 1997, Dale Peters was convicted of the manslaughter of Augie Manuel, a crime that remained unsolved for many years. He is now in jail indefinitely after being labelled a dangerous offender in 2006.
The brothers' uncle Claude Peters has 12 convictions for violent offences on a criminal record with more than 60 convictions, including a six-year sentence for stabbing someone during a bar brawl.
Claude Peters was also identified as a long-term offender. The Crown sought to have the man categorized as a dangerous offender after he was convicted of attacking his girlfriend with a knife.
Gerald Peters worked at the Tk'emlups Indian Band's natural resources department several years ago, said Chief Shane Gottfriedsen.
"He's not the type of guy that you're going to see front and centre in a lot of things. Very quiet, very reserved. Kept to himself."
The band is attempting to end cycles of violence such as the ones the Peters lived through with new initiatives such as healing circles, said Gottfriedsen.
The community is still reeling from the loss of 29-year-old Jesse Seymour, a popular band member and youth worker who was stabbed to death in July during a house party.
Less than a month later, his cousin David Seymour, 64, died in a hit and run on West Shuswap Road.
"It's been probably one of the most challenging years in our community with the amount of tragedy that's happened," he said.
"That's why we created our healing circle, to be able to bring peace and understanding to our community. I truly believe that cycle of violence needs to end."
Although Joseph is not a Tk'emlups band member, her death has still sent shock waves, said Gottfriedsen.
"I've never met her but it still doesn't take away from the fact that a life has been taken away. We offer our prayers and condolences to her family in this very difficult time as well."