Laura Szendrei

Guilty plea in North Delta teen’s murder

Crown wants Laura Szendrei's killer sentenced as an adult.



The young man accused of murdering North Delta teen Laura Szendrei two years ago admitted in court Thursday morning that he killed the 15-year-old.

The accused, who was originally charged with first-degree murder, entered the surprise guilty plea to second-degree murder in Surrey Provincial Court on what was scheduled to be the last day of his preliminary hearing.

Shortly before the plea was entered, the judge had announced there was enough evidence to proceed to trial in B.C. Supreme Court.

Szendrei, a student at North Delta’s Burnsview Secondary, died from injuries sustained after a brazen daytime attack on a pathway in Mackie Park near 110 Street and 82 Avenue on Sept. 25, 2010. The young man was arrested and charged in February 2011.

While the plea spares family and friends of Szendrei the pain of going through a lengthy criminal trial, they were visibly shaken after hearing the admission from the man who killed their loved one. Delta Police said the family was aware of the plea agreement and endorsed it knowing that the Crown is seeking an adult sentence.

Szendrei’s parents left the courthouse Thursday in tears and did not speak with media.

Delta Police spokesman Const. Ciaran Feenan said while the investigation was long and complex, police were committed to having someone held accountable for the teen’s murder.

“Our reaction is one of relief, more so for the family. We hope that this can bring them some closure. We hope that it gives closure to the entire community that was affected by this tragedy,” said Feenan. “It really was something that shocked the community to its very foundation.”

He said the motive for the murder remains uncertain.

“I don’t know if anyone will ever know,” Feenan said.

Police mounted an undercover operation to illicit a confession from the man. The ruse involved staging a video-game competition that eventually led the killer to be introduced to someone he was told was a powerful entertainment executive who could make the teen’s problems go away.

The setup ended in a confession.

Because the killer was a minor when he committed the crime, he cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. He was 17 when he killed Szendrei, just days away from his 18th birthday.

The Crown has filed an application to have the young man sentenced as an adult. If that happens, his name can be made public.

As well, if raised to adult court, he would receive an automatic life sentence and wouldn’t be able to apply for parole for up to seven years.

A youth sentence for second-degree murder is a maximum of seven years, only four of which can be served in custody.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Feb. 18-21 in Surrey Provincial Court.

 

 

 

Just Posted

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

PHOTOS: Surrey designer uses toilet paper to make a dress for annual Toronto show

‘The dress is very experimental and avante garde,’ says Guildford-based Alex S. Yu

Police issue warning after four overdoses in North Delta

Police and emergency health services use naloxone to revive four overdose victims Thursday morning

Surrey reacts to policing plan getting the green light

Former mayor, councillors and residents weigh in on the Public Safety Minister approving the transition

Trudeau vows to stand firm against ‘increasingly assertive’ China

China has accused Canada of meddling in its affairs

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

North Van music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

B.C. man on trial for daughters’ murders says an intruder broke in

Andrew Berry takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

‘Plenty of time for a deal’: Teachers’ union expects kids back in school on Sept. 3

BCTF says class size, composition at the heart of the issue

Most Read