Statue of Lady Justice outside B.C. Supreme Courthouse in New Westminster. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Statue of Lady Justice outside B.C. Supreme Courthouse in New Westminster. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Surrey man who brutally murdered wife must serve 11 years before applying for parole

A jury found Rizig Hamet Bona, 47, guilty of second-degree murder following a seven-week trial

A Surrey man found guilty of second-degree murder in the brutal 2018 death of his wife will have to serve 11 years in prison before he is eligible to apply for parole.

A jury found Rizig Hamet Bona, 47, guilty, following a seven-week trial in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster, of murdering his wife Anida Magaya and for that will serve an automatic life sentence. Justice William Ehrcke decided Bona will only be eligible to apply for parole after serving 11 years, despite the jury recommending the minimum 10 years. The maximum is 25.

Bona and his wife lived in a basement suite in Surrey, with their landlord and the landlord’s family living upstairs. Police were called to the couple’s home in the early morning of Oct. 5, 2018 to find the basement door locked and used a battering ram to get inside. They found Magaya’s body in a pool of blood in a spare bedroom, and a baseball bat and machete near her body.

“Paramedics attended and concluded that there was no possibility of resuscitating the deceased,” Ehrcke noted in his reasons for sentencing. “The photographs taken at the scene leave no doubt about the brutality of the killing. Ms. Magaya’s face and head were battered almost beyond recognition.”

Bona testified their relationship “was not free from conflict,” the judge noted.

“People who knew them recommended counselling,” Ehrcke noted. “There were a few incidents when she struck him with a flower pot or poked him with the tip of a knife. He never had any serious injuries from these incidents, although he made a point of going to the hospital after the flowerpot incident and had photographs taken.”

READ ALSO: Murder conviction upheld in case where Surrey mom was stabbed in front of her kids

READ ALSO: Surrey man who fired eight bullets into another man gets nine years in jail

In August 2018 Magaya spent three weeks in a transition house and near the end of that month was diagnosed with a small brain tumour, the court heard. She and Bona began living together again, despite continuing conflict and suspicions of infidelity. The couple met in 2008, married in 2012 and did not have children.

On the evening before her body was found, Bona testified, Magaya came at him with a machete they’d bought for camping. He threw a lamp at her, picked up a baseball bat and swung it at her twice. He told the court he was trying to knock the machete out of her hand and didn’t realize he’d hit her head with the bat. She went down, and couldn’t speak.

Bona then got dressed, took a walk, and drove around for a while before calling 911 and turning himself in at the police station.

The jury decided it was not a case of self-defence or a case of provocation. “They found that Mr. Bona had the intent necessary for murder, that he intended to kill his wife or intended to cause her bodily harm that he knew was likely to cause her death, and was reckless whether death ensued or not,” the judge noted.

The Crown had argued that his eligibility to apply for parole be set after he served between 12 and 14 years, while the defence argued for 10.

“Had it not been for the jury’s recommendation, I would have been inclined to impose a 12 year period of parole ineligibility to give effect to the need for denunciation and deterrence of this act of deadly family violence,” Ehrcke said. “In light of the jury’s recommendation, however, I will fix the period of parole ineligibility at 11 years.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram  and follow Tom on Twitter

BC Supreme Courtmurder trialSurrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A woman crosses 176th Street in Cloverdale April 12, 2021. 176th will not host Cloverdale Market Days this year as the popular street fest is just the latest casualty in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Cloverdale Market Days cancelled again

Organizer says popular street fest will return in 2022

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions against new model; BCSS and its board in favour

Vintage scrapbooks gave way to Instagram and Facebook. (Photo: Ursula Maxwell-Lewis)
COLUMN: Prince Philip just got on with it—to our surprise

Ursula Maxwell-Lewis reflects on the passing Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Surrey Vaisakhi parade crowd in Newton, pre-pandemic. (Photo: Crystal Scuor)
Surrey Mounties urge Vaisakhi, Kissan celebrants to heed public health orders

Report violations to the City of Surrey Bylaw call centre at 604-591-4370 or the Surrey RCMP non-emergency line at 604-599-0502

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

B.C.’s Court of Appeal in Vancouver. (Black Press Media files)
‘Stereotypes’ not an issue in Langley sex assault ruling, Court of Appeal says

The Court of Appeal upheld a conviction in two attacks on a 17-year-old

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Paper Excellence took over Catalyst Paper operations in B.C. in 2018. (Paper Excellence photo)
Archibald bowl near Chilliwack. (Submitted)
Cheam First Nation ‘shocked’ over all-season mountain resort proposal near Chilliwack

For five years the band has been working on a gondola project of their own

The plane blasted through an airport fence and down a hill, before stopping before a cement barrier on Highway 5A, right in front of a school bus. Photo submitted.
Student pilot crashes plane onto Highway 5A almost hitting school bus

Aircraft hit pavement right in front of school bus

Eight-year-old Piper and her family were raising money to help Guinevere, the bearded dragon, get a gynecological surgery. Sadly, the reptile didn’t survive the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Lizard fails to survive surgery, GoFundMe dollars help Langley family offset medical bills

Guinevere, a pet bearded dragon, underwent an ovariectomy on Tuesday

A driver stopped by Saanich police following a road rage incident on April 15 was found to be impaired, in violation of a license restriction and in a damaged vehicle. They received a 90-day driving prohibition and a 30-day vehicle impound. (Saanich Police Traffic Safety Unit/Twitter)
Road rager fails breathalyzer on busy B.C. highway in vehicle he shouldn’t be driving

Saanich police say man was operating vehicle without required ignition lock

Most Read