The actual trial for murdered teen Taylor Van Diest will not start until after a lengthy voire dire, but family members are already at the Kelowna courthouse.
They will be there everyday until a verdict is reached for Matthew Foerster, the 28-year-old man charged with first-degree murder in the young girl’s death.
“We’ll have different members of the family here off and on during the week, but (Taylor) will be fully represented here. We’re here for her 100 per cent and we have to be,” says Paul Albert, Taylor’s uncle.
While he has never seen Foerster in person – only on video – Albert acknowledges he felt some nerves coming to the courthouse today, now that the trial date has finally arrived.
“It’s a painful wait for something this horrific to happen,” he says.
“And in the course of this, (the public) will know just how horrific this was. And for us to sit back and watch this, it’s pretty tough.”
Van Diest was murdered in Armstrong on Halloween night in 2011. She was walking along the railroad tracks to a party when she was attacked.
“What people have to remember is we have the whole town of Armstrong behind us too. And they’re choked! So they want to see something happen,” says Albert.
He adds that Foerster’s defence counsel tried to get the trial moved to Vancouver, but that was turned down.
When asked what he would like to see happen to Foerster, Albert gave a brief chuckle, before saying he must keep those thoughts to himself.
Following two weeks of legal arguments and jury selection, the first day of testimony is expected to begin on March 24.