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No trial for accused killer of Langley’s Onotera until at least fall

Obnes Regis remains in custody 18 months after he was arrested
A memorial outside the home of Langley City homicide victim Naomi Onotera, who died in 2021. (Langley Advance Times files)

The man accused of killing Langley City’s Naomi Onotera will appear in court later this month, but after a year and a half in custody, no trial has yet been scheduled.

Onotera, a Surrey School District teacher, disappeared sometime around Aug. 28, 2021, sparking a months-long search and poster campaign by her friends and family to find her.

By September, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team was brought in, and that fall the house Onotera shared with Regis, then her husband, was being searched.

Regis was arrested in Dec. 2021 and charged with manslaughter and offering an indignity to human remains. He has been in custody over the year and a half since his arrest.

Although the B.C. Prosecution Service announced last year that they would proceed to trial by direct indictment – skipping a preliminary inquiry – there is still no trial date.

Regis is to appear in New Westminster Provincial Court on June 27, but the appearance is simply to fix a date for the future.

According to B.C. Prosecution Service (BCPS) spokesperson Dan McLaughlin, some pre-trial matters are expected to take place in October, but no firm dates have yet been set.

Under the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling in R v. Jordan in 2016, courts have a limited amount of time between laying charges and bringing the accused to trial – depending on the complexity and level of the trial, between 18 and 30 months.

There can be extenuating circumstances that can extend those timelines, but if the delay is too long, charges can be dropped.

“The BCPS is aware of the time restrictions imposed on the trial courts by the SCC decision in Jordan,” McLaughlin said. “Where the Crown proceeds by indictment the time frame is 30 months. We will not be speculating on the likelihood of success of hypothetical applications related to Jordan or any other issues.”

READ MORE: Accused in Langley’s Onotera manslaughter case to go directly to trial

READ ALSO: No bail for accused in Langley woman’s death

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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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