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Defence recommends 10 to 11 years for B.C. man who killed wife

Crown counsel: Regis lied to Maureen Onotera, Naomi’s mother, while he was wearing a backpack that contained Naomi’s bones, which he was shortly to dispose of

The defence lawyer for Langley man Obnes Regis, who admitted he killed his wife, Naomi Onotera, in summer 2021 is calling for a sentence of 10 to 11 years, much less than the 19 called for by the Crown.

His sentencing hearing started Monday, June 17, and continued Tuesday when his lawyer Gloria Ng said the manslaughter charge warrants five or six years but did not argue the Crown's request for the maximum five-year sentence for indignity to human remains.

Crown counsel Crichton Pike laid out his sentencing recommendations starting Monday and continued Tuesday morning in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. He cited evidence from undercover officers gained during a Mr. Big-type operation when Regis was in custody. Officers testified that he said that after he hit his wife, he left her on the bathroom floor for about an hour, waiting for her to die.

Ng argued that the evidence does not show that Regis left Onotera on the floor of their bathroom for up to an hour, waiting for her to die, after he punched and knocked her down during an argument. It previously came out in court that their infant was in a crib in the bathroom at the time.

Ng argued that other portions of Regis’s recorded conversations with undercover officers in December 2021 suggested Onotera died in two to three minutes.
Justice Martha Devlin broke in to Ng’s arguments to note that there was no doubt about the fact that Regis reportedly said he made the decision not to call 911 after the attack.

• READ MORE: Ten family give victim impact statements on opening day of Obnes Regis sentencing

Pike argued that Regis made a “sober and deliberate” decision to not call 911 after hitting her and that should be a a major aggravating factor, requiring a longer term behind bars.

Pike called for a total sentence of 19 years, including 14 for the manslaughter, to which Regis pleaded guilty soon after his trial started in May of this year.
“His actions were so beyond societal norms that some of his actions are still unimaginable,” Pike said.
He also urged Devlin not to believe any statements of remorse by Regis.
“He is an expert liar,” Pike said.

He noted that Regis lied to Maureen Onotera, Naomi’s mother, while he was wearing a backpack that contained Naomi’s bones, which he was shortly to dispose of. Regis pleaded guilty to manslaughter and indignity to human remains part way through his trial. After Onotera died, he dismembered her and spread pieces around the region, including along the Fort to Fort Trail and the Fraser River.


Heather Colpitts

About the Author: Heather Colpitts

Since starting in the news industry in 1992, my passion for sharing stories has taken me around Western Canada.
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