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

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising five years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Traffic was tied up at the intersection of Scott and Old Yale Roads in North Surrey on Tuesday afternoon, after a semi truck hauling a load of pipes flipped while making a turn. (Shane MacKichan photos)
VIDEO: Semi hauling load of pipes flips in North Surrey intersection

Traffic near Scott and Old Yale Roads tied up by Tuesday afternoon incident

Sheila Malcolmson, B.C.’s minister of mental health and addictions (Screen shot)
Minister of mental health tells Surrey audience COVID-19 ‘has made everything worse’

More than 23,000 people in B.C. are receiving medication to treat opioid addiction

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Tens of thousands of farmers descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Delta council stands in solidarity with protesting Indian farmers

Farmers have been protesting for months new laws they say leave them open to corporate exploitation

A sign posted to a tree in Maccaud Park urges people to email White Rock City Council and oppose the construction of pickleball courts in the park. (Contributed photo)
White Rock council deems Maccaud Park pickleball courts out of bounds

Unanimous vote against constructing courts follows public feedback

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

Titanic was the largest and most luxurious ship in the world. Photo provided and colourized by Jiri Ferdinand.
QUIZ: How much do you know about the world’s most famous shipwreck?

Titanic sank 109 years ago today, after hitting an iceberg

In a 2019 photograph, Yin Yin Din held a picture of her brother Kyaw Naing Din, 54, and her late father Hla Din who passed away in 2014, during a trip to Victoria. (The News files)
Family of B.C. man killed by cop appeals to Attorney General for help

The Din family want B.C. Attorney General David Eby to forward their case to Crown

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

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

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Of 46 arrests made between March 16 and 19 at Metrotown mall in Burnaby, 27 suspected shoplifters are now facing charges. (Twitter/Burnaby RCMP)
RCMP arrest 46 people in 4 days during Metrotown shoplifting crackdown

$4,800 in stolen merchandise was recovered and returned to businesses inside of the mall

Maple Ridge's Doug Ubell caught some photographs recently that he was anxious to share, one taken while on the Trans-Canada Trail looking southwest towards the Pitt River Bridge, and another from on Golden Ears Bridge. (Special to The News)
Traffic on Golden Ears Bridge returning to pre-pandemic levels

Commuters from Greater Vancouver still driving more, taking transit less

Most Read