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A poster depicting 18-year-old Taylor Van Diest is taped to a railway crossing in Armstrong, B.C., on April 5, 2012. (Jeff Bassett for The Globe and Mail)
A poster depicting 18-year-old Taylor Van Diest is taped to a railway crossing in Armstrong, B.C., on April 5, 2012. (Jeff Bassett for The Globe and Mail)

Verdict expected soon in Taylor Van Diest murder trial Add to ...

Jurors have started deliberating the fate of a B.C. man accused in the first-degree murder of 18-year-old Taylor Van Diest who died from severe head injuries.

Twenty-eight-year-old Matthew Foerster has admitted to attacking the woman in Armstrong, B.C., on Halloween night in 2011, but he pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.

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B.C. Supreme Court Justice Peter Rogers has told a jury in Kelowna that a conviction of first-degree murder means the killing has to be planned and deliberate.

However, he says someone can still be found guilty of first-degree murder if a death is caused during a sexual assault or an attempted sexual assault.

The defence is calling for a verdict of manslaughter, saying Foerster was seeking consensual sex but that when Van Diest fought back, he pushed her down and caused her to fall and hit her head on a steel pipe.

But the Crown has said Foerster hit the teen on the head six times with a flashlight and tied a shoelace around her neck.

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