Trial date for murder suspect

The trial of a former Vernon man accused of murder will begin late next year.

William Victor Schneider, 49, is facing second-degree murder in the death of a Japanese exchange student last year.

Vancouver Police found the body of Natsumi Kogawa, 30, at a mansion in Vancouver’s West End Sept. 28, just before 7 p.m.

Hours later, RCMP in the North Okanagan arrested Schneider in a Vernon homeless camp at Polson Park.

Jury selection will be on Sept. 4, and after pretrial matters are dealt with the trial will start on Sept.17.

Approximately three weeks have been set aside for the trial.

When Schneider was originally arrested he was charged with indignity to a human body, with Crown Counsel filing the murder charge shortly thereafter.

Schneider, who police said was a drifter with no fixed address, is the only suspect in the case and has been identified as the man seen on surveillance footage walking with Kogawa in Vancouver on the day she disappeared.

Schneider is a former student of Clarence Fulton Secondary School in Vernon, and when news broke of his arrest, former classmates on Facebook lit up social media with memories of him being a bully and often in trouble with the law.

A CTV investigation revealed he has a lengthy criminal record, including break-and-enter, assault with a weapon, and theft, and served four years in prison for armed robbery.

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