A Surrey court judge has lifted a publication ban protecting the name of the 21-year-old man who killed Delta teen Laura Szendrei over three years ago.
Wyatt DeBruin brutally murdered 15-year-old Szendrei in a Delta park in September of 2010.
Last October, he was sentenced as an adult to life in prison with no chance of parole for at least seven years.
An adult sentence would usually lift such a ban, but his lawyer applied for an extension. On Thursday, the restriction was lifted, though a publication ban remains in place on photos of the young man, his lawyer, Donna Turko, confirmed. Turko said keeping DeBruin’s picture out of the media would ensure he is safe in prison while helping him move on with his life.
Today, Laura’s father Mike Szendrei said he thinks DeBruin’s image should be released as well.
He says the past few years have been very difficult for the entire family.
“It’s been an uphill battle the whole time,” says Szendrei.
The attack happened when the killer was just days away from his 18th birthday.
Szendrei was on her way to meet friends in broad daylight and was walking through a forested path when she was attacked.
Friends heard her screams and found her severely beaten. She later died in hospital.
During the trial, the court heard evidence that the attack was sexually motivated and the killer had planned to rape Szendrei, but when she screamed he beat her over the head with a metal pipe.
DeBruin stood up in court last fall and apologized for Szendrei’s death. However, the judge concluded the man is a “sexually motivated murderer” who has not shown any insight into what he had done.
DeBruin’s sentence of life with no parole for seven years is the maximum available to someone under 18 who is convicted of second-degree murder.
With files from the Canadian Press