SURREY (NEWS1130) – There were tears and sobs in Surrey Provincial Court today as the preliminary hearing got underway for Laura Szendrei‘s accused killer.

The 15-year-old was found badly beaten in Mackie Park. She died in hospital one day later on Sept. 26, 2010.

The accused is charged with first-degree murder and is 19-years-old but was only 17 at the time of Laura’s death, therefore his identity is protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

About 50 people, including many young faces filled the courtroom. Laura’s parents Mike and Rachael did not give a statement heading into court, except to say they’re not feeling very good.

A little later, Mike had to leave the courtroom as the Crown summarized his daughter’s injuries.

This is a preliminary inquiry, which means evidence cannot be published at this time.

Community continues to cope with Laura’s death

The community of Delta continues to struggle with her death almost two years later.
Brian White, chairman of the Laura Szendrei Memorial Scholarship Foundation, says many people are still shattered by the tragedy.

“Young people shouldn’t have to bury a friend,” he says. “It will affect them for a lot of years to come.”

Last year, Szendrei’s memorial walk and run attracted about 2,500 people. Enough money was raised to fund an annual $1,000 scholarship for a Delta student attending Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

White, along with family and friends, say they will pay close attention to the trial.