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Alleged Armstrong teen killer makes Kelowna court appearance

The man charged with the murder of Armstrong teenager Taylor Van Diest is looking to avoid a jury trial for charges relating to two of the three violent acts he allegedly committed.

In addition to the Halloween 2011 murder of Van Diest,  Matthew Foerster, who appeared via videolink in a Kelowna courtroom Thursday, faces a series of other charges from two previous episodes.

For an alleged 2004 Cherryville home invasion,  Foerster faces charges  of break and enter and assault causing bodily harm.

Foerster also faces charges of sexual assault and unlawful confinement  for a 2005 incident at Kelowna's Garden of Eden.

In both of those matters, Foerster is willing to waive his right to a preliminary inquiry and elects for a trial by Supreme Court judge alone.

A trial date for those matters could be set as early as July 23.

For the murder of Van Diest, however, Foerster is required to be tried by a judge and jury, and an appointment to set the pretrial date was set for July 12.

It seems likely the pretrial for the Van Diest murder will be held in late August, to accommodate lawyers' schedules.

Van Diest, 18, was found beaten and unconscious near railway tracks in Armstrong.  She died that night in hospital of head injuries.

Family, friends and RCMP officers found the teen lying in the bushes about three metres from the tracks.

Van Diest’s family called police on Halloween night after she failed to meet a friend, as scheduled, at 7:30 p.m. She also wasn’t responding to text messages or calls.

Foerster was arrested at a hotel in Collingwood, Ont., April 4.

His father, Stephen Roy Foerster was arrested at his home in Cherryville, the same day.

The 58-year-old Cherryville resident faces charges of being an accessory in van Diest’s murder and obstruction of justice.

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