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Charges upgraded in teen death

A 16-year-old B.C. youth now faces a second degree murder charge for the fatal beating of another teenager.

Officials with the Integrated Homicide Investigation team say charges against the 16-year-old have been upgraded from aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.

The youth was arrested last week after 19-year-old Karim Meskine was brutally beaten Dec. 17 in an unprovoked attack as he walked through a southwest New Westminster neighbourhood.

IHIT took the unusual step of taking over the case before Meskine's death, saying he was not expected to survive.

Meskine's family was with him when he was removed from life-support on Friday.

A memorial is planned for Monday evening at a Surrey restaurant and a trust fund has also been set up to help Meskine's family handle funeral costs and other expenses. 

The Canadian Press

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