Teens charged with 2nd-degree murder after body found on Nuns’ Island

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WATCH: A pair of teenagers are facing second-degree murder charges in connection with the death of a 17-year-old boy on Nuns' Island. As Global's Dan Spector explains, the Crown is seeking adult sentences for the pair if they are eventually found guilty of the crime – Nov 14, 2018

Two teenagers have been charged with second-degree murder after the body of a 17-year-old boy was found on Nuns’ Island last Monday.

The boy and girl, both aged 17, were arrested late Tuesday night by Montreal police.

“It appears it was an armed robbery that went bad,” said police spokesperson Manuel Couture.

READ MORE: Body of teenager found on Nuns’ Island ruled a homicide

The two appeared in Quebec Youth Court on Wednesday in Montreal. The Crown has asked for the suspects to be sentenced as adults if they are convicted.

“They are facing seven years maximum,” said Crown prosecutor Sophie Lamarre. “For an adult sentence, it’s a maximum life sentence.”

Defence lawyer Daniele Roy told reporters outside the courtroom that the Crown’s request to have the suspects sentenced as adults if found guilty is standard in these types of cases.

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“Meaning, when there are murder accusations, it’s almost automatic that the Crown will make this kind of request — and it’s far from certain it will be accepted.”

The pair remain in custody. They are expected back in court on Nov. 21.

WATCH: Montrealers rally around the victim’s family

Click to play video: 'Montrealers rally around teenage victim’s family' Montrealers rally around teenage victim’s family
Montrealers rally around teenage victim’s family – Nov 14, 2018

Body found Monday morning

The teenage victim’s body was discovered in a park near de Gaspé Street early Monday morning. A large security perimeter was set up as investigators combed the wooded area for evidence.

While police first believed the teenager’s death was an accident, the investigation was transferred back from a coroner to Montreal police’s major crimes division on Monday.

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The body of the victim was discovered early Monday morning. TVA

On Tuesday, police said they ruled the teenager’s death as a homicide following an autopsy. Montreal police spokesperson Andrée-Anne Picard said he had been attacked in the lower body, “probably with an edged weapon.”

The two teenagers were then arrested late Tuesday night and it is unclear whether they knew the victim.

READ MORE: Teen’s body discovered on Nuns’ Island being treated as suspicious death

The victim’s name is protected by a publication ban. The accused cannot be identified since they are minors.

The homicide is Montreal’s 27th this year.

Community gathers to remember teen

Bouquets of colourful flowers have been left close near the entrance of a wooded area where the victim was found.

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“I just prayed for him, for his soul and for his mother and his brother,” said resident Nadia Khelil.

“It’s hard. It’s hard for every one of us here — especially the Muslim community.”

The teenager is being remembered for his kindness, she added.

Tributes have been pouring in for the victim. Global News

“He was a very generous kid, he was helping everybody on Nuns’ Island,” she said.

Hundreds gathered on Wednesday night as part of a wake and vigil for the slain teenager at Al Jazira Centre, the local mosque. It has launched an online fundraising campaign for the victim’s mother and brother.

Mourad Bendjennet, the administrator at the centre, said the community has rallied around the family.

“Everybody’s shocked and terrified after what we heard this week,” he said.

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— with files from Global’s Dan Spector and The Canadian Press

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