A Creston man accused of second degree murder has elected to be tried by judge alone.
Mitchell Earl McIntyre opted against a trial by judge and jury when he appeared in court in Cranbrook this week.
McIntyre was charged in March with the death of Julia Howe, 56, who was found inside her home in February.
An obituary said she was born in Creston and worked as a school bus driver. She is survived by her father, four siblings, four children, and four grandchildren.
Police said although her death was originally thought to be the result of natural causes, it was later determined to be a homicide, although they didn’t say how they figured that out.
McIntyre has remained in custody since his arrest and will return to court in Invermere on Sept. 8.
Police said McIntyre and Howe are believed to have known each other.
The cause of death has not been released.