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Family storm out during Langley killer's statement during sentencing hearing

Obnes Regis said he hopes to one day be in his daughter's life

The Langley City man convicted of killing his wife and dismembering her body for disposal had his lawyer read an apology in court Tuesday during his sentencing hearing.

Naomi Onotera, a City resident, mother, teacher, and wife of Obnes Regis, was the subject of a missing person's investigation in August 2021 that soon turned into a homicide investigation. Within a few months Regis was charged and his trial started in May 2024.

Part way through the trial, he changed his plea to guilty and sentencing was slated for Monday, June 17, to Wednesday, June 19. Justice Martha Devlin is expected to pass sentence Wednesday.

On Tuesday, his statement was read out in court.

To the Honourable Court and the Onotera Family:
I am really, really sorry and I apologize with the worst remorse and regret I
can express for what I did to Naomi.
I never had intention when we started an argument that it would lead to
Naomi dying.
I was wrong to have turned to physical violence when I hit her. What
happened next was terrible and graphic and there are no words that can
ever make up for what happened.
I can only tell you that I felt desperate in that moment not wanting my
daughter to grow up in foster care. I panicked and I reacted in the worst
possible way. I was so, so, so very wrong and I can't take back what I did.
There's no way that I can go back in time but if I could I would have walked
away. I am so sorry to Naomi, to her family, and to my family.
To my daughter:
I have failed you as a father but I hope that the good care and education
me and your Mom gave you in the beginning will help you in your life.
It is my biggest regret and shame that I have caused you to grow up
without your mother and now your father. I never wanted you to spend a
day without your mother.
Words will never be enough to express how sorry I am to you. I don't
deserve your forgiveness but I hope that my acceptance of responsibility
can one day earn me a chance to be in your life. I'm doing my best to give
you a future by showing you that I am taking responsibility for the wrongs I
have done. I love you.
Obnes Regis

 As one of Regis’ lawyers read his statement, some of Onotera’s family in the court abruptly got up and left. Ten of Onotera's loved ones read victim impact statements Monday when the Crown made its recommendation for a 19 year sentence – 14 years for manslaughter and the maximum five years for indignity to human remains for dismembering Onotera.

• READ MORE: Defence recommends 10 to 11 years

Regis' lawyer recommended 10 to 11 years in total for a sentence.

“We acknowledge that Mr. Regis committed a terrible act after what we submit was a tragic accident,” said defence lawyer Gloria Ng said in her final remarks on sentencing.

Crown counsel Crichton Pike gave a brief rebuttal.

“Somehow, they’re describing this as a tragic accident, when we know it was not,” he said.

Both sides have acknowledged that manslaughter has a wide range of sentences possible. Pike has emphasized that manslaughter circumstances run the gamut from "near accident" to "near murder," and has argued that this case is on the "near murder" end of the scale.

Justice Martha Devlin has scheduled a hearing on Tuesday, July 16 to deliver her sentence.

• READ MORE: Langley victim's sister to convicted husband – 'every breath you take is a breath wasted'

• READ MORE: Guilty – husband changes his plea in death of Langley wife and mom

• READ MORE: Police stripped Langley home during homicide investigation

READ MORE: DNA, undercover evidence presented at trial

• READ MORE: Gruesome evidence introduced as trial begins in May 2024