Youth accused in Karim Meskine's beating death denied bail
19-year-old died in December after spending final days in hospital in a coma
The teenager accused of attacking 19-year-old Karim Meskine was denied bail in court in New Westminster Friday afternoon, to the relief of Meskine's family and friends.
Meskine's mother Julie, who did not provide CBC News with her surname, attended the accused's bail hearing and afterwards, outside the courthouse, said she felt more at ease now that the decision had been made to keep the youth in custody.
"I'm thankful that, you know, the criminal justice system found that we are certainly safer and better with [the accused] off the street," she said.
The 16-year-old accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been charged with second-degree murder in Meskine's death.
Police said Meskine was attacked with a baseball bat in an unprovoked assault a few blocks away from the 22nd Street SkyTrain Station in New Westminster on Dec. 17.
Meskine was found unconscious by a passerby and was taken to hospital, but police said his injuries were so severe that he was not expected to survive.
He spent his final days, including his 19th birthday, in a coma before he was taken off life-support.
Now, Julie is determined to get justice for her son.
"There's lots of work to be done," she said. "I don't think this is the last time you see me, 'cause there's lots of things to come," she said.
Meskine's friends have set up a trust fund for the family and, so far, $58,000 has been raised to help cover funeral and other costs. But not much can ease the pain of losing a treasured friend, brother and son.
"It's a living hell. It's not something that it's possibly human to go through," his mother said. "It's long. It's long and painful, you know. We're never going to be... OK."
The parents of the 16-year-old accused in this case rushed out of court Friday, trying to avoid the cameras.
The 16-year-old, who has no previous criminal record, will remain in custody.
He is scheduled to appear in court next on Jan. 29.
With files from the CBC's Bal Brach