The body of Natsumi Kogawa, 30, was found in the Gabriola Mansion on Davie Street, Vancouver, in September 2016. Vernon man William Schneider, who was found guilty of second-degree murder, now awaits the decision of his appeal hearing Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. (Vancouver Police Department photo)

The body of Natsumi Kogawa, 30, was found in the Gabriola Mansion on Davie Street, Vancouver, in September 2016. Vernon man William Schneider, who was found guilty of second-degree murder, now awaits the decision of his appeal hearing Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. (Vancouver Police Department photo)

No decision yet for Vernon man appealing murder sentence

William Victor Schneider was convicted in relation to Natsumi Kogawa’s death in 2016

A Vernon man convicted of murdering a Japanese exchange student in 2016 now awaits the decision of his appeal.

William Victor Schneider’s appeal hearing concluded Monday, Oct. 19, after technical issues with live video conferencing stalled proceedings on Friday.

The panel of three judges have reserved their decision, Dan McLaughlin with the BC Prosecution Service confirmed. A date has not been set for their ruling.

In October 2018, Schneider was sentenced to life in prison without parole for 14 years after a jury found him guilty of second-degree murder in connection to the death of Natsumi Kogawa.

Kogawa, 30, was reported missing Sept. 12, 2016, having last been seen in the Burnaby area four days prior. Video footage surfaced showing her walking with Schneider the day she disappeared.

Her body was discovered two weeks later on the grounds of the abandoned Gabriola Mansion in Vancouver. Schneider was arrested in Vernon’s Polson Park that same day, and charged with her murder.

Defence lawyer Chris Nowlin outlined the grounds for the appeal in Friday’s hearing. His central argument to the panel was that the original trial judge had incorrectly answered a jury question about the definition of bodily harm.

“It’s an incredibly intuitive question that (the jury had), because it speaks to a very important part of this element of second-degree murder,” Nowlin said.

The defence is seeking a new trial to be ordered if the appeal is granted.

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Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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