Family and friends of Natsumi Kogawa say they’ve been struggling to move on with their lives since she was murdered in 2016.
Kogawa, 30, was found stuffed in a suitcase and dumped in the hedges on a Vancouver property in the West End in September 2016. The accused, William Schneider, was found guilty last month of second-degree murder.
On Thursday, Crown read out victim impact statements from Kogawa’s mother, brothers and friend.
In her written and translated statement read aloud by Crown, Kogawa’s mother, Emily, said she’d been having trouble sleeping and had lost her motivation to work since her daughter’s death.
“I feel her pain that she went through when she died alone,” she wrote.
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Emily described her mental condition as “unstable” and said her life has been a “living hell” since her daughter died.
“I cannot believe that I have not received any apologies from Mr. Schneider and his family,” she wrote, adding the lack of an apology was unforgivable.
In his written victim impact statement, which was also read aloud by Crown, Natsumi’s boyfriend Jay Vergara said he’s also struggled with depression and has been on short-term and then long-term disability leaves from work.
He said his career has been stunted as a result.
“I feel as if I had my future taken away because of her murder,” Vergara wrote.
Schneider is facing a life sentence for the Kogawa’s murder.
In his submission, Crown attorney Geordie Proulx said Schneider has a history of being violent when he consumes drugs and alcohol, pointing to previous police incidents.
Earlier psychiatric, personality and behavioural assessments concluded Schneider would continue to pose a relatively high risk to the public, unless his drug and alcohol habits were addressed.
Crown has asked for a life sentence plus four years, to be served concurrently, for the single count of indignity to a human body. Crown is also calling for a minimum of 17 years before Schneider is eligible for parole.
Defense says parole eligibility should not go beyond the 10 year minimum.
Defense will wrap up submissions on Friday.