BRITISH COLUMBIA

Matthew Foerster Guilty Of Taylor Van Diest Murder

04/05/2014 03:01 EDT | Updated 04/05/2014 11:59 EDT

A 28-year-old B.C. man has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the Halloween slaying of a teenage girl.

Matthew Foerster of Cherryville, B.C. attacked Taylor Van Diest, 18, on her way to a party in the usually quiet community of Armstrong in 2011.

Foerster had pleaded not guilty, but admitted to causing the injuries that led to Van Diest's death that night. First-degree murder comes with an automatic life prison sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.

Foerster showed no emotion when he heard Saturday's verdict and declined to say anything, reported Castanet.net.

"The fact he chose not to speak, speaks volumes in how cowardly, dysfunctional and deviant this individual is," said Taylor's mother, Marie Van Diest, outside the courthouse, according to Castanet.

Dressed in a zombie costume, Van Diest was walking along the railway tracks when she was attacked and beaten. She died the following morning.

During the trial in Kelowna, Crown counsel Frank Caputo said Foerster's DNA was found in fingernail clipping taken from Van Diest by a nurse that night. Caputo told the jury Foerster later admitted to police he killed Van Diest as he struggled to have sex with her.

The Crown said Foerster followed the teen with plans to rape her. When she resisted and screamed, so Foerster struck her in the head several times with a flashlight, reported CBC News.

Foerster's defence lawyer claimed his client pushed Van Diest, leading to her hitting her head on a steel pipe.

A doctor testified at the trial that Van Diest had the most severe brain injury a person could have and that she couldn't breathe on her own.

With files from The Canadian Press

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