NEWS
05/26/2014 01:58 EDT | Updated 07/26/2014 05:59 EDT

Yosef Gopaul in court over slaying of B.C. hockey mom Julie Paskall

Yosef Gopaul, the 27-year-old man charged in the slaying of Surrey, B.C., hockey mom Julie Paskall, made his first court appearance Monday.

Gopaul moved to B.C. from Ontario about eight weeks before the slaying and is now facing a second-degree murder charge in the brutal December 2013 attack outside a hockey arena.

During Monday's brief court session, Gopaul had his next court date set for June 13 at 9.30 a.m.

Earlier, Supt. Kevin Hackett, speaking on behalf of the Lower Mainland's Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, said Gopaul was arrested in Surrey at 3:15 p.m. PT Friday afternoon.

"I personally met with and spoke with Julie's husband, Al, yesterday and let him know of this development," Hackett said at a news conference Saturday. "We must now prepare for the court process."

Paskall was assaulted in the parking lot of the Newton Arena while waiting to pick up her teenage son, Cailean, who was refereeing a hockey game the night of Dec. 29, 2013.

She was taken to hospital where she was placed on life support, but she died days later, on New Year's Eve.

At the time, police described the attack as a robbery gone wrong. Hackett confirmed that Gopaul has a criminal record.

Police identified Gopaul as a potential suspect about a month after the attack, Hackett said.

At Saturday's press conference, Al Paskall expressed gratitude for the assistance everyone in the community has provided to the investigation, but said the family is still deeply hurting.

"We do truly appreciate that an individual has been charged with Julie's death," he said. "While this is very important, it does not bring her back. She is deeply missed, and this has been an extremely difficult time for our family."

Google Map: Newton Arena

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