Mission teenager Rachel Pernosky was killed more than five years ago. Her half-brother Mathew Pernosky is due to be sentenced for her murder.

Man confessed to ‘Mr. Big’ that he killed his half-sister by suffocating her

Details heard in court about murder of Rachel Pernosky, 18, of Mission

An Abbotsford man suffocated his teenage half-sister because he was angry about how she was acting over his sexual abuse of her as a child, a Crown lawyer said today (Thursday) in court.

Wendy Stephen was speaking in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster at the sentencing hearing for Mathew Pernosky, 33.

Pernosky pleaded guilty May 28 to the second-degree murder of Rachel Pernosky, 18, of Mission.

Rachel, the mother of a now six-year-old boy, was reported missing on March 16, 2013 from her home on Kite Street in Mission.

Her body was located three days later in steep terrain in Chilliwack, near Old Orchard Road.

Pernosky’s guilty plea comes with an automatic life sentence, but the sentencing hearing will determine how long he must wait before he is eligible for parole.

In second-degree murder, that term can be anywhere from 10 to 25 years.

Crown and defence lawyers made a joint submission today in court, recommending that Pernosky’s parole eligibility be 13 years.

The judge is scheduled to render his decision on July 4.

Stephen said Pernosky was arrested and charged following a “Mr. Big” operation in which an undercover officer posed as the head of a criminal organization.

She said Pernosky confessed to “Mr. Big” that he had killed Rachel – with whom he shared the same dad – and all the information he provided was backed up by the evidence obtained by investigators. The confession was taped on hidden cameras.

Stephen said, on the night of the killing, Pernosky had gone to Rachel’s residence – her son was not there at the time – and he apologized for molesting her when she was a young child. (He was 14 or 15 at the time of the assault, and he was convicted at the age of 19 and sentenced to probation, the court heard.)

Stephen said Rachel then had a text exchange with a friend who asked her how the conversation with Pernosky was going.

“She said it was a good conversation, an emotional conversation, but she was very tired and hoped he would go home. That angered him,” Stephen said.

She said Pernosky described in his 2016 confession to the undercover officer that Rachel’s text made it seem as if she was the victim, when he was the one who had suffered by being charged and going through the court process.

Stephen said Pernosky then hit Rachel in the head, pinned her down and suffocated her by holding his hand over her mouth and nose. He then took her body to his Abbotsford residence, sexually assaulted her and dumped her body in Chilliwack.

Stephen said Pernosky “covered his tracks” by sending texts to and from Rachel’s phone after the killing and disposing of her keys and some other personal items.

Defence lawyer Ondine Snowdon said the murder has been a “traumatic incident” in Pernosky’s life, leading him to have panic attacks, sleepless nights, flashbacks and nightmares.

He has now being treated for depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Snowdon said Pernosky had an unstable childhood, bouncing around between his parents and grandparents, and was sexually molested at the age of eight by a female neighbour.

She said he has had a “great deal” of anger and frustration that he has never dealt with, but he is now taking programs in prison to help him understand his issues.

“He continues to be deeply affected by these events,” Snowdon said in reference to the murder.

The courtroom was packed with Rachel’s family and friends. Stephen read aloud victim impact statements from Rachel’s sister, mother, and father of her son, detailing the devastating emotional impacts that her death has had on the family.

“Words cannot express the pain and anguish our family and friends have endured since Rachel’s murder. Our lives have been forever changed … We are forever broken and scarred,” her sister wrote.

Her mother wrote that she rarely goes out anymore, and is “overwhelmed with emotion” on a daily basis.

“Rachel’s murder has broken my heart,” she said.

Two charges of indignity to a body for having sexual contact with and disposing of the body have been stayed against Pernosky.

Just Posted

Anti-gang forum aimed at helping Langley parents keep teens safe

Preventing gang recruitment is the focus of a forum to be held next week

Langley Blaze display depth despite temporary loss of pitchers

Injury and invitation to play for Team Canada leave team down three

Man arrested after police standoff and fire at Abbotsford home

Suspect allegedly breached conditions to not be near victim or her home

‘Everyone wins’ volunteering for Games – chair

Langley’s Jamey Paterson has taken the helm for the 2020 winter and summer competitions

Giants ‘hungry’ to win it next year

This Langley-based team of grit, determination, and resilience should be proud: Coach

Rescuers finally persuade Eiffel Tower climber to come down

The official said the man was ‘under control and out of danger’ on Monday night

Motorcycle deaths spike 50% since 2017

Riders were most likely fatally crash on the weekends compared with the rest of the week

5 to start your day

Corgis put on a show at the Cloverdale Rodeo, family of B.C. pilot killed in Honduras remembers him and more

Family of B.C. pilot killed in Honduras trying to ‘piece together’ tragedy

Patrick Forseth has a number of friends in the area and was loved by everyone

Justin Trudeau credits immigration for Canada’s growing tech sector

Trudeau stressed that Canada has become a major source of talent for tech all over the world

Feds launch tourism strategy designed to boost sector 25 per cent by 2025

The fund is supposed to back experiences that show off Canada’s strengths

Should B.C. already be implementing province-wide fire bans?

A petition is calling for B.C. Wildfire Service to issue a ban to reduce risk of human caused wildfires

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several days, but grew substantially Sunday

Most Read