Three suspects in death of Luka Gordic appear in court, plead not guilty

Click to play video: 'Trial begins for 3 teens charged with a 2015 homicide in Whistler'
Trial begins for 3 teens charged with a 2015 homicide in Whistler
WATCH: Three of the four people charged in the 2015 homicide of a Burnaby teen appeared in court Monday. Luka Gordic was fatally stabbed in Whistler over the May long weekend. His family spoke with Global’s Grace Ke outside of the courtroom about their pain and their fight for justice – Oct 17, 2016

Three of the four people charged in the 2015 homicide of a Burnaby teen in Whistler have pleaded not guilty before the judge at B.C. Supreme Court this morning.

Nineteen-year-old Luka Gordic was fatally stabbed in the Upper Village area of Whistler over the May long weekend in 2015.

Today, the court heard that Gordic was attacked in a “swarming incident” outside a 7-11 store at 12:34 a.m. on the night of May 17.

Gordic suffered three stab wounds — including one to his heart, which was likely fatal — according to Crown.

The entire incident likely lasted no longer than 30 seconds and was allegedly perpetrated by a group of eight to 15 young males.

Crown prosecutor Julie Robinson said the group was “more than sufficient in numbers to make it impossible for Gordic to defend himself.”

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Gordic allegedly fell to the ground as a result of his injuries and was bleeding profusely. All efforts to revive him were in vain and he was declared dead at 1:44 a.m.

Crown claims the group that attacked Gordic split up after the incident and ran in different directions. Only three members of the group of attackers were apprehended and arrested not long after the incident. They had blood stains on their clothing and a knife was also found. These items were submitted for analysis and Gordic’s DNA was found on them.

The court heard there was a confrontation between Gordic and one of the accused related to the latter’s girlfriend earlier in the day.

READ MORE: Family of Luka Gordic releases emotional video on anniversary of his death

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Three 17-year-olds were charged in connection with Gordic’s death. A fourth person accused in the case will stand trial at a later date.

Two of the four men have been charged with manslaughter and the other two are facing second-degree murder charges.

Today, the three youths, who can’t be identified because of an extensive publication ban, have all pleaded not guilty.

The three men were charged as minors, but Gordic’s family has been calling for them to be charged as adults.

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More than 27,000 people have signed a petition urging that the suspects be charged as adults.

Close to 100 people, including family and friends of both Gordic and the accused, filled the courtroom on Monday.

The supporters of the Gordic family were wearing black #JusticeforLuka T-shirts, just like they have been during previous court appearances. Some were sobbing quietly inside the courtroom as the description of how Gordic died was read out in court.

Mike Gordic, Luka’s uncle, said the family is still devastated about what happened to his nephew.

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“It is frustrating,” he told Global News. “We just want to know why [this happened].”

The trial is expected to last five weeks and hear from 43 witnesses. Evidence pointing to what may have precipitated the attack will be presented, along with autopsy results, blood stain pattern analysis and DNA evidence.

Gordic graduated from Burnaby Central Secondary School in 2014 and was studying to become a plumber.

He was the youngest of four kids and lived at home with his parents, two older brothers, one sister and the family dog.

~ With files from Jon Azpiri and Amy Judd

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