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VIDEO: Dead B.C. woman’s family hoping for ‘strong sentence’ from husband’s trial

Proceedings against Langley’s Obnes Regis started Monday, May 27 in New Westminister

The trial of Obnes Regis on manslaughter and interfering with human remains began Monday, May 27 in a New Westminster courtroom.

Regis has spent most of the last three years in custody awaiting trial for the death of his wife, Naomi Onotera.

During a break in proceedings, her family finally broke their silence.

“We’re just relieved to finally start this process and we just want to see the strongest justice for my sister delivered,” said Kirsten Kerr, Onotera’s sister. “And we want to thank the community and all our family and friends for all our support, for all the support. And we just want to see the outcome that we’re hoping for – a conviction and a strong sentence.”

Justice Martha Devlin paused proceedings to directly address the loved ones of Onotera.

“You’re going to hear, some things [that] are going to be very upsetting,” the judge said.

She advised people in the gallery that they might want to leave the courtroom when disturbing information is being presented.

“I want you to be prepared for what you may be hearing,” Devlin said.

Crown counsel Crichton Pike presented evidence from the undercover officers and a “Mr. Big” sting while Regis was in custody. Regis allegedly told undercover officers that he disposed of his wife’s body parts along the Fort to Fort Trail in Fort Langley and in the Fraser River.

A Langley City resident and teacher in the Surrey school district, Onotera was last seen in late August 2021. Her family reported her missing on Aug. 29.

In the last days of August and through September, friends and family launched a massive search and distributed posters of her around the community.

But by mid-September, police were looking at Regis as a suspect.

Following a lengthy voir dire hearing in 2023, Devlin ruled that certain evidence gathered by police investigators was lawfully obtained.

That included a Sept. 13 search of the couple’s Langley City property, during which a cadaver dog detected human remains on one corner of the yard.

IHIT was called in after the discovery.

Kerr spoke about the people loved by her sister, including her students and friends.

“She was an amazing mother,” Kerr said. “She lived for her daughter and she would do anything for her. And that’s one of the hardest parts is knowing that she won’t get to do that. She won’t get to see all her milestones. Her graduations, even going to kindergarten, going up growing up through school. She was a amazing sister.”

Persons charged with a criminal offence are considered not guilty until the charges are proven in court.

Kerr thanked the RCMP and all the people who’ve worked very hard on this case for all their efforts.”

The Crown was to present DNA information Monday afternoon, May 27.

The trial had to be postponed due to a recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling that allowed defendants to choose in which official language they wanted their court proceedings done – all English, all French, or bilingual. So far, Regis’ court proceedings have been done in English, with a translator. When the latest proceedings started, he was asked for his language preference and after consulting with his lawyer, opted to continue with English and a translator.

The judge-only trial is scheduled for one month.

Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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