Natsumi Kogawa's killer sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 14 years

WATCH: Japanese student's killer sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 14-years

The man convicted of killing Japanese student Natsumi Kogawa has been handed a life sentence with no chance of parole for 14 years.

BC Supreme Court Justice Laura Gerow handed the sentence to 49-year-old William Schneider on Friday, along with a 3.5 year sentence for interfering with a human body, to be served concurrently.

“Mr. Schneider treated Ms. Kogawa’s body like garbage and left her to decompose in a suitcase,” said Justice Gerow in delivering the sentence, calling it a “random killing” of a “completely innocent young woman.”


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Kogawa’s body was found in a suitcase in the bushes of the Gabriola Mansion in Vancouver’s West End in September 2016.

A jury found Schneider guilty of second-degree murder last month, and towards the end of the trial he pleaded guilty to a separate charge of interfering with a human body.

WATCH: Man accused in death of Japanese student pleads guilty to 1 of 2 charges

Crown had asked for a life sentence with no chance of parole for 17 years, along with a concurrent sentence of four years for the crime of indignity to a body. Defence had sought a 10-year cap on parole eligibility.

READ MORE: Jury finds William Schneider guilty of second-degree murder of Japanese student Natsumi Kogawa

On Friday, Schneider apologized to Kogawa’s family, saying, “I’m just so sorry for your pain.”

That followed emotional victim impact statements from Kogawa’s mother, brothers and friend on Thursday. Her mother Emily described her life following the murder as a “living hell,” and said Schneider’s failure to apologize was unforgivable.

WATCH: Pathologist takes the stand in murder trial of Japanese student Natsumi Kogawa

Kogawa, 30, was on a student visa and came to Canada in May 2016.

Over the course of the trial, the court heard psychiatric, personality and behavioural assessments that found Schneider’s drug and alcohol habits could make him a continued risk to the public.

READ MORE: Audio released of conversation between cops and man accused in 2016 killing of Japanese student

It also heard audio recordings of his conversations with police. He has admitted to putting Kogawa’s body in the suitcase, but maintained he did not know how she died.

A pathologist was not able to determine a cause of death, and there was no DNA evidence linking Schneider to the death. Autopsy results revealed traces of anti-anxiety medication in her system.

His defence argued that after the student died, Schneider panicked and made poor decisions.

-With files from Nadia Stewart and Rumina Daya

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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