Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Trial Starts for Group Home Runaway Teen Accused of Killing Two People

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Trial Starts for Group Home Runaway Teen Accused of Killing Two People

Article excerpt

Murder trial starts for runaway teen


EDMONTON - About 12 hours after two teens ran away from a group home, RCMP discovered the bodies of a man and his female friend on a rural property east of Edmonton.

At first, it seemed to Mounties like an open-and-shut case: the teens were found in the man's stolen pickup truck and one of them quickly confessed their involvement to police.

Four years later, a trial for one of the boys has begun without that key confession, but with hope from the victims' families that someone will be held responsible.

"Hopefully this time we'll get some positive results," Gerlind Koesling said outside the Edmonton courthouse Monday, nearly breaking into tears.

"It's not easy, it's not easy. He was my big brother and now I don't have him."

Her brother, 68-year-old Barry Boenke, and his friend and neighbour Susan Trudel, 50, were found shot on the property near Ardrossan on June 1, 2009.

RCMP originally charged two 14-year-old boys with first-degree murder, but two years later, following pretrial hearings, the charges were stayed. A judge ruled the statement made by the one teen was inadmissible and prosecutors admitted they had no case without it.

Last May, the Crown reactivated charges against the one teen because of new evidence. It was also learned that he faced a new, unrelated charge of counselling others to commit murder.

The fresh-faced boy, who turns 18 next month, sat in the prisoner's box Monday wearing black pants, a dress shirt buttoned right to the top and a blazer, his hands folded in his lap.

He stood up briefly and pleaded not guilty to two counts of second-degree murder, break and enter and possession of stolen property. He is being tried as a youth and cannot be identified.

The other teen originally charged in the case, wearing a hoodie and holding a cap, stood in the back of the courtroom as a judge ordered him to appear again later during the six-week trial to testify as a Crown witness.

Prosecutor William Wister told court he also plans to call key evidence about an undercover operation --a "Mr. …

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