Man accused of arson and attempted murder in court Monday

Andre Harvey Richard - Submitted photo
Andre Harvey Richard
— image credit: Submitted photo

The Langley man accused of trying to kill his estranged wife and two children by setting fire to their Willoughby-area home last month made an appearance in Surrey Provincial Court on Monday.

Andre Harvey Richard faces three counts of attempted murder, as well as charges of arson, break and enter and breaching a restraining order.

In addition, he faces four counts of assault with a weapon — involving two victims, each allegedly assaulted with two different weapons, and two counts each of assault causing bodily harm. He has remained behind bars since his arrest.

He makes his next court appearance on May 27.

Richard is accused of going to his wife’s home around 1 a.m. on April 2 and setting fire to it, before entering her bedroom and assaulting her with a pair of weapons. When the couple’s 14-year-old daughter tried to intervene, police say she was also assaulted.

The three victims managed to escape the burning home and fled to a neighbour’s house, where 911 was called. A manhunt began. Richard was arrested in Fernie, B.C., near the Alberta border, more than 24 hours later.

At the time, police said they had been to the home several times for domestic violence.

Since this tragic situation, the community has come together to support the Cella family and gift cards and cash have been coming into The Times office and getting directly to the mother of two, confirm friends of the family.

But donations of money would still be greatly appreciated by the family who are starting out fresh on their own after losing everything, including the home they were living in.

The 14-year-old daughter, with help from her aunt, is busy creating a new support group to help others like her who have suffered through domestic violence. She named it Healing Our Hurting Hearts and the peer-to-peer group should be up and running in Langley at the start of the school year.

An account at CIBC Willowbrook is accepting cash or cheques made out to Cella Family Trust.

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