Plea bargain deal for man accused of murdering Okanagan teenager

There will not be a second trial for a man previously convicted of first-degree murder in the death of an Okanagan teenager.

In April 2014, Matthew Stephen Foerster was found guilty in the October 2011 slaying of Taylor Van Diest.

The 18-year-old was was walking along railway tracks in Armstrong when she was savagely attacked.

Van Diest was strangled with a shoestring and then murdered by repeated blows to the back of her head with a heavy flashlight.

Foerster appealed his conviction, and because of mistakes by the trial judge in his final instructions to the jury, Foerster was granted a new trial.

That was scheduled to begin May 28th in Kelowna. Now, a new court date has been set for March 12th when court registry documents reveal Foerster intends to plead guilty.

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Taylor Van Diest’s mother says in a plea bargain deal between prosecution and defence lawyers, Foerster will admit to second-degree murder.

“Of course we’re not happy,” says Marie Van Diest. “Just the idea of second-degree on the table is beyond comprehension to us because we know full well what he did. Justice is flawed.”

Van Diest says she’s been told when Foerster is sentenced in April the plea bargain calls for parole ineligibility to be set at no less than 17 years.

Forester’s original sentence for first-degree murder was a minimum 25 years behind bars.

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