Matthew Foerster starts appeal process

The man convicted earlier this year in the brutal slaying of an Armstrong teenager appears to be attempting to overturn his conviction.

The man convicted earlier this year in the brutal slaying of an Armstrong teenager appears to be interested in overturning his conviction.

An application was filed with the Court of Appeal on behalf of Matthew Foerster Sept. 3, said a representative from the court. It’s early on in the process and no other materials have been filed, so the grounds on which  Foerster will pursue the appeal are yet unknown .

In April a five-woman, seven-man pool of jurors returned to a Kelowna courtroom, unanimous in a guilty verdict on the charge of first degree murder after just over 24 hours of deliberation.

To have reached that decision they had to conclude that Foerster, 28, was intending to sexually assault Taylor Van Diest, 18, when he fatally injured her on a set of secluded train tracks Halloween night 2011.

His lawyer had unsuccessfully hypothesized he was just trying to woo the teen, and had pushed her over with fatal consequences when she spurned his advances.

When Foerster was asked by Justice Peter Rogers if he had anything to say following the jury’s decision, defence lawyer Lisa Helps declined on his behalf.

He was similarly silent over the course of the trial, where gruesome witness testimony about Van Diest’s final night was laid out.

A forensic pathologist, the emergency room doctor who treated Van Diest and even those who came across her battered body on the railway track described how the 5-foot-4, 126 lb teen had been fatally beaten the night she met Foerster.

It was the teen’s  fight for survival that ultimately convicted Foerster, said Crown Counsel in his closing arguments.  Despite the significant size difference between Van Diest and her attacker, she scratched his neck and collected the DNA that tied him to the scene.

Kelowna Capital News