A jury will begin deliberations Friday in the trial Matthew Foerster, of Cherryville, B.C., who stands accused of the first-degree murder of Armstrong teen Taylor Van Diest on Halloween 2011.

‚ÄčThe 18-year-old girl was found beaten with fatal wounds by the side of railroad tracks on Halloween night in 2011. A forensic pathologist testified earlier in the trial she suffered multiple blows to the head, among other injuries.

Foerster, 28, has admitted responsibility for causing the injuries that killed Van Diest, but he has pleaded not guilty to the charge of first-degree murder.


On Thursday in Kelowna, both Crown and defence gave their closing submissions to the jury.

The Crown argues Foerster followed Van Diest to a secluded area of Armstrong intending to rape her. When Van Diest fought back and screamed, Foerster smashed in her head with a heavy flashlight.

Foerster's defence lawyer says her client only wanted consensual sex with Van Diest. But when a scuffle ensued, Foerster pushed the Armstrong teen, causing her to hit her head on a steel pipe on the ground.

Taylor Van Diest - archive photo

The victim's mother Marie Van Diest calls that theory laughable.

"It think it sounds a little too far fetched and unrealistic for anyone to believe that it could actually happen that way. It was what it was, and I think she'd be hard pressed to sway that jury otherwise."

She's confident her family will get justice.

The jury will begin its deliberations after the judge in the case gives his final instructions.

With files from the CBC's Brady Strachan