The B.C. Supreme Court ruled Feb. 26 that the estate of deceased Sooke man and Hells Angels prospect Michael Widner is to be divided between his wife and his secret spouse. (Black Press Media file photo)

The B.C. Supreme Court ruled Feb. 26 that the estate of deceased Sooke man and Hells Angels prospect Michael Widner is to be divided between his wife and his secret spouse. (Black Press Media file photo)

Estate of dead B.C. Hells Angels prospect to be divided between wife, secret spouse

Michael Widner’s 2017 death left a number of unanswered questions

When the body of Sooke man and Hells Angels prospect Michael Widner was discovered in March 2017, his family was left with a jumble of questions – ones that only began to get untangled in a B.C. Supreme Court decision Feb. 26.

Perhaps the most confused was his wife, Sabrina Widner, who was shocked to discover her husband had been leading a double-life with another woman and two children for the last eight years. When she thought he was working part of the week on the other side of Vancouver Island, Widner was in fact living with his second family.

Sara Boughton, who had a “marriage-like relationship” with Widner, knew he was married when they met in 2009 but believed he was unhappy and trying to leave his wife. So, when Widner died in 2017 without a will, she determined she had just as much right to his estate as his wife.

What ensued was a nearly three-year B.C. Supreme Court battle. Sabrina claimed she was the primary contributor on multiple Sooke properties owned by her and Widner and said considering Boughton a second spouse would constitute polygamy, which is criminally prohibited. Boughton argued Widner was almost entirely responsible for the acquisition of the properties in question and, as his long-term partner, she deserved a piece of them.

“He left a complicated legacy,” Justice Jennifer Duncan wrote in her decision.

Every family member who testified had a different understanding and knew a different amount about the life Widner led, including his duplicity, criminal dealings and association with the Hells Angels.

RELATED: Hells Angels ride Malahat in memory of Michael Widner

Both Widner’s parents, who are separated, said they were aware of their son’s double-life and spent time with both partners and both sets of grandkids. They were also aware of his involvement with the Hells Angels, but neither felt it was their place to tell Widner’s wife.

Widner’s mother, Reta Acorn, added that she believed her son was a “high-level cocaine dealer,” washed other people’s money and, on top of his legal marijuana grow operation on Tugwell Road, had another illegal operation at his second property on Eaglecrest Drive. She believed the two properties were purchased with drug money.

Michael Widner led a double-life with two separate families before his death in March 2017. (Mike Widner Memorial Page/Facebook)

Other family members listed a number of jobs they said Widner was working, including operating fishing charters, a small moving company, a wastewater management company and an ICBC salvage and rebuild shop. But with tax returns reflecting next to no income, it appears Widner was working for cash. He gave his wife cash for groceries and household expenses and provided Boughton with approximately $8,000 a month to cover all her expenses.

Sabrina claims she had no idea about her husband’s involvement with the Hells Angels or any kind of criminal activity. She said Widner had a motorcycle when their daughter was born but he got rid of it after a psychic told them he would die on one. Following his death though, she discovered her husband had two motorcycles at the home he shared with Boughton in Shawnigan Lake.

She also contested the claim that their two properties were purchased with drug money. She purchased their Tugwell property in 2004 and registered a mortgage under her name. Over the next three years, she made five lump-sum payments – four of $44,000 and one of $22,000 – one of which she said was a gift from Widner’s family and the rest of which she couldn’t recall where the money came from. Given her full-time income at the time was $25,000, Duncan determined it was unlikely she made all those payments herself.

RELATED: Middle-class gang violence in B.C. breaks from history with higher stakes

Duncan did decide that Sabrina was the primary contributor of the Eaglecrest property, which was also registered under her name and where she made monthly mortgage payments.

Between the contributions Duncan thought Widner likely made to the Tugwell property and a workshop he had built there, she determined his estate consisted of his personal property and $150,000 plus interest. She also decided because Boughton and Widner weren’t actually married, that relationship could not be considered polygamous under criminal law. But, Boughton and Widner’s relationship was “marriage-like” enough that Duncan said Widner’s estate should be divided equally between his two partners.

Sabrina plans to challenge the validity of Boughton’s claim as a spouse in court at a later date.


Do you have a story tip? Email: jane.skrypnek@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

BC Supreme CourtHells AngelsSooke

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kelowna firefighters practice swiftwater rescue techniques in the Shuswap River in Cherryville April 20. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
West Kelowna firefighters make a splash in North Okanagan

Swift water rescue training brings team to Cherryville’s Shuswap River

B.C.’s public health restrictions on non-essential travel are reinforced by orders effective April 23, 2021 to stay within your own regional health authority except for essential travel such as work and medical appointmens. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 non-essential travel ban takes effect, $575 fines approved

Checks on highways, ferries between Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, Interior

(Photo: pixabay.com)
Morning Start: Nearly 1 billion tonnes of food was wasted in 2019

Your morning start for Friday, April 23, 2021

Kimberley case counts not at the point for 18 years and older community vaccination, says Interior Health. (File photo)
Many factors considered for smaller community-wide vaccination: Interior Health

East Kootenay resort town’s COVID-19 situation not at the point of community-wide vaccination, say officials

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. (Destination B.C.)
‘Stay local’: B.C. tourism groups back COVID-19 travel ban

Fast-spreading variants make non-essential travel too risky

Interior Health and Pathways Addictions Resources warned April 22, 2021 of drugs in Penticton contaminated with the animal tranquilizer Xylazine. It’s not known what kind of substances may contain Xylazine or what they may look like. (File photo)
Dangerous animal tranquilizer found in test sample of Penticton street drugs

It’s not currently known what kind of substances may contain the animal tranquilizer

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Murder Mystery Night May 13.
Kelowna BC SPCA hosts Virtual Murder Mystery Night

The fundraiser will take place May 13

The Summerland Ornamental Gardens will hold its spring plant sale online. The sale begins May 1. (Contributed)
Summerland Ornamental Gardens to hold online plant sale

Variety of plants available through fundraising event

Nic Hume and his fellow paramedic stopped to rescue the victim of an Oak Bay hit-and-run – a duck – at the end of their shift Thursday morning. (Nic Hume/Facebook)
B.C. paramedics don’t duck a chance to help someone in need

Ambulance duo end a long shift by helping a distressed duck in Victoria suburb

This cougar alert was posted near Chilliwack after a cougar was reported in the area on April 10, 2021. (Black Press - File)
Children and pets warned to stay inside after second cougar attack in South Okanagan

The Penticton Indian Band council is working with the Natural Resources Department to contain the animal

As the snow in Manning Park melts, searchers are able to get a little farther each day. Photo submitted
Family resumes search for son missing in B.C.’s Manning park since October

‘This is our child, and we don’t give up on our children,’ said mother of Jordan, Josie Naterer

Most Read