Pair charged in youth court with 2nd-degree murder of 17-year-old from Nuns' Island
Crown asking for accused, both 17, to be tried as adults
A pair of 17-year-olds have been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of another 17-year-old whose body was found in a wooded area on Nuns' Island on Monday.
The accused, a boy and a girl, appeared in youth court in Montreal this afternoon. The Crown is requesting they be tried as adults.
If the request is granted, the teens could each face a life sentence without parole for up to 25 years.
The pair will return to court Nov. 21 for a pro forma hearing, at which the Crown will present the evidence it's collected against the accused up to that date. A bail hearing is scheduled for Nov. 22.
It's unclear if the accused knew the victim, whose name is protected by a publication ban. The teen's death is the 27th homicide in Montreal this year.
Police initially said they believed the youth's death was an accident. A passerby found his body Monday morning.
Tuesday evening, police revealed his death was a homicide and that he had been stabbed in the lower body.
The investigation was transferred to Montreal police's major crimes unit and the accused were arrested later Tuesday evening.
A Nuns' Island Islamic community centre created an online fundraiser to help the victim's mother with funeral costs.
It is also held a gathering in his honour Wednesday evening at the Elgar Community Centre on Nuns' Island.
Hundreds of mourners came together to try to process what happened and offer their condolences to the victim's mother.
He lived in Nuns' Island and worked at the local Tim Hortons and IGA grocery store while studying in CEGEP, according to community members who knew him.
Mourad Bendjennet, the administrator at the Al Jazira Islamic Centre on Nuns' Island and a friend of the victim's mother, said he is concerned about security on the island, especially since there is no police station there.
"Once we heard it was a homicide, it was a strong message that we need to take care of our ... youth," Bendjennet told CBC News. "We need a police station on the island."
He said Nuns' Island has many families and young people who need services and activities to keep them busy.
Some of the victim's friends spoke to CBC News about the dead teen's kind heart.
"He was by far the best of all of us," said Alfredo Lopez. "A nice boy; he did nothing wrong."
He said the teen's death is "like a nightmare."
Another friend, Dario Derakhshanian, said the victim took care of his family.
"He was kind, honest. He worked to support his family. He was very independent," Derakhshanian said.
With files from Steve Rukavina, Sudha Krishnan and Navneet Pall