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Appeal denied for Vernon man charged in killing of Japanese exchange student

The Parole Board of Canada’s Appeal Division has denied the appeal of William Victor Schneider
The Parole Board of Canada’s appeal division has upheld a detention order for William Victor Schneider, who will stand trial on May 24, 2022, on a charge of second-degree murder in relation to the death of Japanese exchange student Natsumi Kogawa. (Vancouver Police Department photo)

The Parole Board of Canada has denied the appeal of a Vernon man who was convicted in relation to the death of a Japanese exchange student.

William Victor Schneider, born in 1967, was found guilty by a jury on Oct. 19, 2018, of second-degree murder and interference with human remains in connection with the death of Japanese exchange student Natsumi Kogawa in the Lower Mainland in 2016.

Kogawa was reported missing on Sept. 12, 2015, after having last been seen in Burnaby four days prior. Video footage surfaced showing Kogawa and Schneider walking together the day she disappeared.

Kogawa’s body was discovered Sept. 29, 2016, on the grounds of the Gabriola Mansion on Vancouver’s Davie Street. Schneider was arrested that same day in Vernon and charged with her murder.

Schneider successfully appealed the murder conviction in relation to Kogawa’s death in February 2021 on the grounds of multiple trial judge errors. A retrial date has been set for May 24, 2022.

Schneider also appealed an April 28 decision by the Parole Board to order his detention, but that decision was affirmed by the board’s appeal division on Monday, Nov. 1.

After reviewing Schneider’s case, the appeal division was satisfied that the board conducted a fair risk assessment when it determined that, if released from custody, Schneider was likely to commit an offence causing death or serious harm before the expiration of his sentence.

“The Appeal Division finds no merit to your submission that you were not treated fairly because your parole officer provided you ‘relevant” information to you on the morning of the hearing, outside the 15-day legislative timeframe,” reads the decision.

The appeal division also found that the board did not rely on erroneous or incomplete information in ordering Schneider’s detention.

In an excerpt from the April 28 decision, the board states that Schneider has not addressed his high risk for violence and above-average risk for sexual re-offending through programs or other means.

“Further, the board finds you do not have a viable release plan and in the context of your assessed high risk for violence, lack of program completion, pattern of persistent violence, history of non-compliance, and the seriousness of your outstanding charge, the Board finds that there are no adequate supervision programs to manage your risk at this time that would be sufficient to protect the public.”

The decision notes that Schneider refused programming and will not meet with a psychologist to challenge his “ingrained misogynistic attitudes.”

A pre-trial conference for Schneider’s retrial will be held on Jan. 25, 2022.

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Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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