Former Vernon man has retrial set for May 2022 in killing of Natsumi Kogawa

Schneider retrial set

A retrial date has been set for a former Vernon man previously convicted in the death of a Japanese exchange student in Vancouver.

William Victor Schneider will face charges of second-degree murder and interference with human remains in a trial set to commence on May 24, 2022.

He appeared in BC Supreme Court in Vancouver via video on Wednesday.

Dan McLaughlin, communications counsel with the BC Prosecution Service, says jury selection will occur on April 28, 2022, and a pretrial conference has been set for Jan. 25.

Schneider won an appeal in February of his 2018 conviction in the high-profile case in which Natsumi Kogawa's decomposed body was found stuffed into a suitcase on the grounds of a vacant Vancouver mansion in 2016.

Schneider fled to his hometown of Vernon, where he allegedly confessed to his brother, Warren, and was later arrested in Polson Park, where he had set up a makeshift camp.

Schneider successfully appealed the conviction on grounds the trial judge erred in admitting an overheard telephone conversation in which he was heard by his brother to have said "I did it."

The Crown is mounting an appeal of that decision to the Supreme Court of Canada. But, pending the Crown's efforts to avoid a retrial, court proceedings continue as if the trial will go ahead.

Schneider was granted the retrial in a split decision by the B.C. Court of Appeal.

The Crown is challenging that decision under provisions of the Criminal Code that grant the right to appeal when there is a dissenting judgment in the court of appeal.

Schneider remains in custody on a guilty plea to indignity to a human body – but also due to a "provincial remand of detention" pending the new trial.

On April 29, he was denied parole on that conviction as the Parole Board of Canada he is a high risk to reoffend and "if released, to commit an offence causing the death of or serious harm to another person."

More Vernon News