The young North Delta man who murdered Laura Szendrei confessed to an undercover cop that he had committed three sex offences in Burns Bog prior to killing the Burnsview secondary student.
The court heard he also told a probation officer he used zap straps to restrain Szendrei and had struck her three times over the head with a metal pipe when she struggled to escape.
"He talks about it being a sexually motivated attack," Crown prosecutor Wendy Stephen told the court.
The 20-year-old, who was six days shy of his 18th birthday when he killed Szendrei, is being sentenced in Surrey provincial court after pleading guilty to second-degree murder.
Lawyers are arguing, during a four-day hearing that began Monday, over whether the young man should be sentenced as a youth or as an adult.
The onus is on the Crown to convince the judge why he should be tried as an adult. In the meantime, the Youth Criminal Justice Act shields his identity.
"We don't have somebody here who is habitually before the law," his lawyer, Donna Turko, said.
Originally charged with first-degree murder, the young man pleaded guilty to the lesser charge last year.
Szendrei died in hospital on Sept. 26, 2010, one day after she was viciously beaten in broad daylight while walking along a path in Mackie Park forest, in the 8200-block of 110th Street in North Delta.
The scope of the police manhunt was unprecedented in that community.
If sentenced as an adult, the young man's sentence will be life in prison without eligibility to apply for parole for seven years.
If sentenced as a youth, he faces a seven-year sentence, with a maximum four of those years to be served in prison and the remainder in the community, under supervision.
Typically, adults convicted of second-degree murder receive a life sentence with no eligibility to apply for parole for 10 to 25 years.
Justice Robin Baird, presiding over the case, will hear from two psychiatrists and a psychologist over the course of the hearing.
He heard Monday that the young man told a probation office in December 2012 that he wonders every day how he could do such a thing to someone and their family, and that he's "destroyed" his own family.
"This is not me," Stephen said he told the probation office.
The court heard he was described as being "very shy" and was "somewhat concerned about not having a girlfriend."
Baird was also told the young man was very depressed, physically ill and suicidal after committing the murder. This was hard for the victim's dad, Mike Szendrei, to hear. "F--k, he's still here," he exclaimed. Mr. Szendrei also shook his head when he heard that the young man, a B-average student, had been teased and bullied in Grade 7 and continuing on into his high school years.
Other than that, Stephen said, there is "nothing untoward" in his educational background and "basically there's nothing untoward in (his) upbringing.
"He continues to have tremendous support from his family."
The victim's mother and father declined to speak with reporters Monday.
But a woman, who was the first adult on scene to help Laura after the murderous assault, said she felt compelled to attend the hearing.
"I wanted to make sure that he was being sentenced and what the sentence would be," she told the Now, requesting anonymity. "It was very traumatic to see. I just hope justice will be served, and that he gets the maximum sentence."
- With a file from Tiffany Kwong.
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