07/25/2013 03:30 EDT | Updated 09/24/2013 05:12 EDT

Ex-Mountie who killed wife to serve minimum 13 years

A former Mountie who killed his common law wife will spend 13 years behind bars before being eligible for parole, a Supreme Court judge has ruled in Kelowna.

Keith Wiens was automatically sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday, when a jury found him guilty of the second-degree murder of Lynn Kalmring in their Penticton home two years ago.

The Crown said that Wiens shot Kalmring in the face during a heated argument, then moved her body and placed a knife in her hand to make the killing appear to be a case of self-defence.

Lawyers for Wiens argued the former Mountie shot Kalmring when she, hysterical with fear that her husband was going to leave her, attacked him with the knife.

The jury convicted the veteran Mountie, who had served with the RCMP in Summerland for 20 years, after only six hours of deliberations.

The Crown had asked for 15 years before parole eligibility, while the defence called for a term of 10 to 12 years.