The B.C. Supreme Court ruled Feb. 26 that the estate of deceased Sooke man and Hells Angels prospect Michael Widner is to be divided between his wife and his secret spouse. (Black Press Media file photo)

The B.C. Supreme Court ruled Feb. 26 that the estate of deceased Sooke man and Hells Angels prospect Michael Widner is to be divided between his wife and his secret spouse. (Black Press Media file photo)

Estate of dead B.C. Hells Angels prospect to be divided between wife, secret spouse

Michael Widner’s 2017 death left a number of unanswered questions

When the body of Sooke man and Hells Angels prospect Michael Widner was discovered in March 2017, his family was left with a jumble of questions – ones that only began to get untangled in a B.C. Supreme Court decision Feb. 26.

Perhaps the most confused was his wife, Sabrina Widner, who was shocked to discover her husband had been leading a double-life with another woman and two children for the last eight years. When she thought he was working part of the week on the other side of Vancouver Island, Widner was in fact living with his second family.

Sara Boughton, who had a “marriage-like relationship” with Widner, knew he was married when they met in 2009 but believed he was unhappy and trying to leave his wife. So, when Widner died in 2017 without a will, she determined she had just as much right to his estate as his wife.

What ensued was a nearly three-year B.C. Supreme Court battle. Sabrina claimed she was the primary contributor on multiple Sooke properties owned by her and Widner and said considering Boughton a second spouse would constitute polygamy, which is criminally prohibited. Boughton argued Widner was almost entirely responsible for the acquisition of the properties in question and, as his long-term partner, she deserved a piece of them.

“He left a complicated legacy,” Justice Jennifer Duncan wrote in her decision.

Every family member who testified had a different understanding and knew a different amount about the life Widner led, including his duplicity, criminal dealings and association with the Hells Angels.

RELATED: Hells Angels ride Malahat in memory of Michael Widner

Both Widner’s parents, who are separated, said they were aware of their son’s double-life and spent time with both partners and both sets of grandkids. They were also aware of his involvement with the Hells Angels, but neither felt it was their place to tell Widner’s wife.

Widner’s mother, Reta Acorn, added that she believed her son was a “high-level cocaine dealer,” washed other people’s money and, on top of his legal marijuana grow operation on Tugwell Road, had another illegal operation at his second property on Eaglecrest Drive. She believed the two properties were purchased with drug money.

Michael Widner led a double-life with two separate families before his death in March 2017. (Mike Widner Memorial Page/Facebook)

Other family members listed a number of jobs they said Widner was working, including operating fishing charters, a small moving company, a wastewater management company and an ICBC salvage and rebuild shop. But with tax returns reflecting next to no income, it appears Widner was working for cash. He gave his wife cash for groceries and household expenses and provided Boughton with approximately $8,000 a month to cover all her expenses.

Sabrina claims she had no idea about her husband’s involvement with the Hells Angels or any kind of criminal activity. She said Widner had a motorcycle when their daughter was born but he got rid of it after a psychic told them he would die on one. Following his death though, she discovered her husband had two motorcycles at the home he shared with Boughton in Shawnigan Lake.

She also contested the claim that their two properties were purchased with drug money. She purchased their Tugwell property in 2004 and registered a mortgage under her name. Over the next three years, she made five lump-sum payments – four of $44,000 and one of $22,000 – one of which she said was a gift from Widner’s family and the rest of which she couldn’t recall where the money came from. Given her full-time income at the time was $25,000, Duncan determined it was unlikely she made all those payments herself.

RELATED: Middle-class gang violence in B.C. breaks from history with higher stakes

Duncan did decide that Sabrina was the primary contributor of the Eaglecrest property, which was also registered under her name and where she made monthly mortgage payments.

Between the contributions Duncan thought Widner likely made to the Tugwell property and a workshop he had built there, she determined his estate consisted of his personal property and $150,000 plus interest. She also decided because Boughton and Widner weren’t actually married, that relationship could not be considered polygamous under criminal law. But, Boughton and Widner’s relationship was “marriage-like” enough that Duncan said Widner’s estate should be divided equally between his two partners.

Sabrina plans to challenge the validity of Boughton’s claim as a spouse in court at a later date.


Do you have a story tip? Email: jane.skrypnek@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

BC Supreme CourtHells AngelsSooke

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

Just Posted

Vanderhoof municipal office sign on Burrard Avenue. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Vanderhoof council discuss requests from NWRI, airport, BC Wildfire

District of Vanderhoof held their regular public meeting of council on April… Continue reading

The property on which a residential school (pictured) that was torn down years ago in Lower Post is to be the location of a cultural centre. (Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre photo)
Lower Post residential school building to be demolished, replaced with cultural centre

Project to be funded by federal and provincial governments, Daylu Dena Council

To send in Letters to the Editor, email aman.parhar@ominecaexpress.com
Letter: Increased aggression towards staff at Omineca Medical clinic

Dr. Davy Dhillon writes letter on behalf of the clinic

Basin Snow Water Index map for Apr. 1, 2021. (BC River Forecast Centre photo/Lakes District News)
Snowpack above normal for Upper Fraser West basin

Snowpack assessments for early April reveals above normal levels for northwestern British… Continue reading

Four young women prepare to model Magic Wand dresses at a fashion show. Magic Wand provides grad dresses and tuxedos for a nominal fee. (Submitted File Photo)
Nominations available for Cindrella Dreams Program in Vanderhoof

New organizer excited to help graduates with formal wear

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

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller said it would be “very challenging and not very safe” for him and his teammates to play as scheduled on Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Canucks’ return to ice postponed again after players voice COVID health concerns

Friday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers was called off after the team met virtually with the NHLPA

B.C. Attorney General David Eby, Minister Responsible for Housing. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. announces $2B for affordable, middle-income family home projects

HousingHub financing to encourage more developers, groups – with low-interest loans – to build affordable homes

Most Read