Foerster back in court

A man already sentenced to life in jail for murdering an 18-year-old Armstrong girl will be back in a Vernon court room March 12 after successfully appealing that conviction.

In 2014, Matthew Foerster was found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Taylor Van Diest.

Van Diest was found along some train tracks in Armstrong on Halloween night in 2011.

Foerster was sentenced to life in jail with no eligibility of parole for 25 years.

However, Foerster successfully appealed that conviction and a new trial was ordered.

The court found the jury in the first trial was incorrectly instructed on how to interpret certain evidence, specifically the last text message Van Diest sent, which said she was “being creeped,” and of Foerster's disposal of a shoelace and flashlight, both of which were believed to have been used to kill Van Diest.

“Unfortunately, these errors cannot be corrected on appeal, nor can it be said with assurance that they did not affect the verdict,” said Justice Harvey Groberman, in a written decision issued on March 7, 2017.

But according to media reports, Foerster will be pleading to a lesser charge and another trial will not be needed.

During the first trial, Foerster admitted he was responsible for killing Van Diest, but contended he was only guilty of manslaughter or second-degree murder.

On Dec. 17, 2017 Foerster pleaded guilty to charges in connection to two other attacks in the Okanagan.

The charges stemmed from a home invasion in Cherryville in 2004 when Foerster broke into the home and attacked a 19-year-old woman, and an incident in 2005 at the Garden of Eden in Kelowna, when he forced himself on a sex trade worker while holding a knife to her throat.

Foerster was sentenced to six years on each count, to be served concurrently.

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