Nova Scotia

Keya Simon's mother eyes courtroom justice after charges

Two men are facing charges related to the 2011 death of 19-year-old Keya Simon and the stabbing of her 32-year-old sister.

Demarqus Shane Beals, 25, and Carondo Shondez Downey, 25, facing charges

Keya Simon was found inside the front door of an apartment building at 117 Pinecrest Dr. on the night of Jan. 8, 2011. (Facebook)

It's taken three years, but Torina Simon is finally on the path towards justice after the 2011 murder of her daughter Keya.

On Thursday, police laid charged against two men in the 19-year-old mother's death and the stabbing of her 32-year-old sister.

Demarqus Shane Beals, 25, is facing a second-degree murder charge in relation to Simon's murder. Carondo Shondez Downey, 25, is facing charges of aggravated assault and possession of a weapon dangerous to the public in relation to her sister's stabbing. 

Beals was arrested at a home in Dartmouth on Wednesday. Downey was arrested the same day at the Atlantic Institution, a maximum security prison in Renous, N.B.

Torina was called by investigators shortly after the arrests were made. She says her relief soon turned to anger.

“It brings back up all the pain and the hurt you thought that you were dealing with… All this has been buried for three years, just buried down deep,” she said. “If I want to go talk to her I have to go talk to her at a grave…My pain? You don’t know it.”

Simon says she doesn’t know who the two suspects are, but wants to find out why her daughter was killed.

“I don’t want their face in my memory,” she said.

On Jan. 8, 2011, Simon and her sister were stabbed during a fight at a house party with about 25 to 30 people in attendance

Simon’s body was found inside the front door of an apartment building at 117 Pinecrest Dr. in Dartmouth around 11:20 p.m. that night. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Her sister was treated and released from hospital.

'I never did give up hope'

Investigators said the party was hosted by Simon's sister. During the party, a group of people known to the victims entered.

A fight spilled out onto the front lawn of the apartment building and led to the stabbing, police said.

“Where was Keya’s keeper? Nobody was there helping her that night. Nobody helped her. Over 30 people were around and they have the nerve to worry about being in court?” Simon said.

She boils over thinking about how the suspects roamed for three years.

"You knew what your children were doing but you didn’t step in," she said.

“I never did give up hope. It was coming...Long time coming but I’m happy the police did their job and that they stuck to it,” Simon said.

If the case makes it to trial Simon says she'll stand with her family to speak for Keya.

“That’s a pretty big pill to swallow, justice,” she said.

She says she hasn’t told Keya’s son, now four years old, about his mother’s death.

“A baby lost his mother to can you explain that to a child? He’s too young to understand but eventually it will come. God give me strength in order to sit down and hurt that little boy like that. Give me another day, give me another day for my own salvation,” she said.

“When I look in the mirror I see her all the time...I look at him and see her all the time.”

The Simon case was part of Nova Scotia’s rewards for major unsolved crimes program, though police say it's not clear if it had anything to do with the break in the case.

Simon's case was one of 18 murders in the Halifax region in 2011. There have been 64 over the past five years.