The. B.C. Court of Appeal granted a retrial to former Vernon man William Schneider, convicted of second-degree murder in the 2016 death of Japanese exchange student Natsumi Kogawa. The trial is set to begin May 24, 2022. (Vancouver Police Department photo)

The. B.C. Court of Appeal granted a retrial to former Vernon man William Schneider, convicted of second-degree murder in the 2016 death of Japanese exchange student Natsumi Kogawa. The trial is set to begin May 24, 2022. (Vancouver Police Department photo)

Retrial date set for former Okanagan man’s murder conviction

William Schneider’s trial, connected to the death of Natsumi Kogawa, is set for May 2022

After a pandemic-related delay, a retrial date has been set for a former Vernon man who was convicted in 2018 in connection to the death of a Japanese exchange student.

William Victor Schneider appeared in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver by video Wednesday. With the results of that hearing, his trial on a charge of second-degree murder is now set to begin on May 24, 2022.

The jury selection will take place on April 28, 2022, and a pretrial conference will be held Jan. 25, according to Dan McLaughlin, communications counsel for the BC Prosecution Service.

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, 30, in the Lower Mainland in 2016. Kogawa was reported missing 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 pleaded guilty to the indignity charge in 2018, but successfully appealed the murder conviction in early February 2021 on the grounds of multiple trial judge errors, including the trial judge’s admission of an overheard phone conversation in which Schneider was heard by his brother saying “I did it.”

The Crown is appealing the decision to grant a retrial, and will take the matter to the Supreme Court of Canada in December 2021.

Schneider was set to appear in court to fix a retrial date in early April 2020, but due to the onset of COVID-19, the appearance was delayed by more than a year as B.C. Supreme and Provincial courts suspended regular operations as a health and safety precaution.

READ MORE: Vernon man’s appeal of murder conviction postponed by COVID-19

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