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

Machine gun on roof of Pitt Meadows municipal hall, circa 1929. (Pitt Meadows Museum & Archives/Special to The News)
LOOKING BACK: German machine gun mystery solved – at least part of it

Recently discovered documents uncovered how war trophies came to exist in Pitt Meadows

Have an opinion you’d like to share? Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or the postal service. (Heather Colpitts/Black Press Media)
LETTER: Maple Ridge resident encourages people to stand up to anti-Asian racism when they see it

Local letter writer can’t understand why people act out against certain groups

Kat Wahamaa marched downtown Vancouver to mark the fifth anniversary of the opioid crisis in B.C. She lost her own son to a fentanyl overdose in 2016. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)
Mothers mark opioid anniversary with march in Vancouver

Former City of Maple Ridge artist-in-residence and Maple Ridge homeless advocate mourn loss of children

Ken Stewart will serve another term as president of the Alouette River Management Society. (THE NEWS-files)
ARMS takes aim at city subdivision, Hydro’s water licence in coming year

Ken Stewart back as president of Maple Ridge conservation group

A small memorial to Rich Goulet at Pitt Meadows Secondary honoured the late coach. (The News files)
LETTER: Pitt Meadows petition signer lobs gym naming question back into school board’s court

Thousands of people have signed a petition to name a gym after the late coach Rich Goulet

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

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

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Local carpenter Tyler Bohn embarked on a quest to create the East Sooke Treehouse, after seeing people build similar structures on a Discovery Channel show. (East Sooke Treehouse Facebook photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. carpenter builds fort inspired by TV’s ‘Treehouse Masters’

The whimsical structure features a wooden walking path, a loft, kitchen – and is now listed on Airbnb

The Attorney General’s Ministry says certain disputes may now be resolved through either a tribunal or the court system, pending its appeal of a B.C. Supreme Court decision that reduced the tribunal’s jurisdiction. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Court of Appeal grants partial stay in ruling on B.C. auto injuries

B.C. trial lawyers challenged legislation brought in to cap minor injury awards and move smaller court disputes to the Civil Resolution Tribunal

Most Read