Emotions ran high Monday morning at the preliminary hearing in the murder of Delta teenager Laura Szendrei in 2010.
Tears streamed down the faces of Szendrei's friends and family in remembrance of the 15-year-old Burnsview Secondary student.
Her parents, Rachael and Mike Szendrei, sobbed in the second row, with her father leaving the courtroom in tears at one point.
Laura was beaten in broad daylight on Sept. 25, 2010, while walking through a wooded area of Mackie Park, in the 8200-block of 110th Street. A 19-year-old man, who was 17 at the time of the killing and cannot be named, is charged with first-degree murder in the case that shocked the community.
"Nothing like this has ever happened in Delta," said Dayna Furst, the aunt of one of Szendrei's friends. "The whole community's devastated. We were all just in tears. Her mom was in pieces."
Furst said the details unveiled Monday created a terrible visualization for everyone. The accused, for the most part, kept his head down during the hearing, seemingly unable to make eye contact with anyone.
If the accused is found guilty, the Crown plans to seek an adult sentence, which would be life without eligibility to apply for parole until 25 years are served. However, Furst is concerned he will get off with a lighter sentence.
"Justice is never served," she said. "It's never going to be a big enough price to justify what he's done."
About 50 relatives and classmates turned out Monday to show their support, some of them wearing shirts with Laura's photo and heartfelt words.
In response to Laura's death, friends and family organized the Laura Szendrei 5 & 10K Walk, Run and Roll, an event that has raised more than $45,000 in two years. The money goes to the Laura Szendrei Memorial Scholarship Foundation Society, which provides scholarships to students in the Delta school district. The hearing continues.