Man convicted of Japanese student's murder files appeal
CTV News Vancouver
Published Tuesday, May 14, 2019 4:53PM PDT
A man convicted of killing an exchange student has filed an appeal months after being sentenced to life without parole for 14 years.
William Schneider was convicted of the second-degree murder of Natsumi Kogawa, a 30-year-old Japanese student.
Kogawa's naked body was found in a suitcase on the grounds of Vancouver's Gabriola Mansion back in September 2016.
At the end of the trial, he entered a surprise guilty plea on a second count of interfering with human remains. A jury also found him guilty of the murder charge.
But CTV News confirmed Tuesday that Schneider's legal team has filed an appeal of the murder conviction.
The appeal was filed last month, and no date has been set.
During the trial last fall, the court heard that Schneider had gone to Vernon, B.C. as police in the Lower Mainland searched for Kogawa. She'd been reported missing about three weeks before her body was found.
The prosecution said Schneider was suicidal at the time of the search efforts, and allegedly told his brother where police could find Kogawa's body.
Schneider was arrested in Vernon the same day that her remains were located.
Jurors were shown surveillance photos of Schneider and Kogawa together at the Harbour Centre Mall 20 days before her body was found. Authorities had released the photos during their search, when they'd still hoped to find her alive.
While coroners weren't able to determine the cause of her death, jurors heard that Kogawa had prescription sedatives in her system. Her body, Crown said during the trial, was decomposing, but not dismembered.
The court also heard a recording of a police interview, during which Schneider described meeting Kogawa in a library. He said they'd bonded about books and beer, and continued to arrange meetings over email.
"We met, we met, and then we continued to meet. And it … suddenly got very, very heated and, and then went wrong," he could be heard telling police.
Schneider had been homeless at the time, and told police he had suggested they meet in a tent. In the recording, he told the officer he didn't know how she died.
Kogawa was in B.C. to study English at the time of her murder.