Marrisa Shen murder trial set to begin next month

Murder trial jury selection

Jury selection for the trial of a man accused in the 2017 murder of 13-year-old Marrisa Shen began in Vancouver Supreme Court this morning after numerous adjournments over the last six years.

Shen’s body was found in Burnaby’s Central Park in the early morning hours of July 19, 2017, after her family reported her missing the night before.

Ibrahim Ali was charged with her murder in September 2018, after what police described as “one of the longest and most resource-intensive investigations” in the history of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team.

Ali’s jury trial was originally set for September 2020, but jury selection was cancelled a month before it was scheduled to begin, and the court was told the trial wouldn’t start until September 2021.

Since then, pre-trial applications have pushed that start date back four more times, to Jan. 10, 2022, Sept. 19, 2022, Jan. 16, 2023 and finally to April 3.

“It is anticipated that the time between now and the start date will be sufficient to accommodate jury selection and remaining pre-trial matters,” B.C. Prosecution Service spokesperson Dan McLaughlin said in an emailed statement.

McLaughlin said the trial will likely run through to June 30.

Shen was set to start Grade 9 at Moscrop Secondary School before she was killed.

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