The family of 19-year-old homicide victim Jared Philip Merasty filled a Prince Albert courtroom once again this morning for an appearance by Merasty’s accused killer.
Merasty was found unresponsive at a home in Sandy Bay by members of the local RCMP detachment Oct. 9, and was rushed to a local health centre for treatment, but later succumbed to his injuries. The next day RCMP announced they had arrested a 16-year-old youth, who was charged with second-degree murder.
The alleged killer, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, did not say a word in court and stood stoically behind the glass of the prisoner’s box throughout his appearance. His mother and several family members sat close by in the gallery. On the other side of the aisle, the seats were packed with members of the Merasty family, some wearing t-shirts emblazoned with photos of the victim and slogans demanding justice.
A psychiatric and psychological assessment was prepared for today, because the youth was expected to seek his release on bail. Defence lawyer Garth Bendig said his young client still wishes to have a bail hearing, but requested the matter be delayed so he could gather more information on the available mental health supports in the community where the youth plans to reside.
The adjournment was granted by Judge Hugh Harradence. The youth will be held in custody over the weekend, and will return to court Monday to seek his interim release.
Outside the courtroom, Jared’s mother Crystal Merasty said she was frustrated by the slow progress in the case. More than a dozen family members made the trip from Sandy Bay in a borrowed van, she said, only to be disappointed by another delay.
Merasty said her 22-year-old son is still very angry about the death of his younger brother. She is still struggling to cope with the loss herself, she added, but has lots of support from family and the community in Sandy Bay.
“We have a big family,” she said. “Everybody’s supporting me back home.”
Despite today’s frustrations, and the difficulty of the long journey between Prince Albert and Sandy Bay, Merasty said she and her family will make the trip as many times as they need to.
“I’ll be back Monday,” she said.
The charge against the youth has not yet been tested before the courts, and he is presumed innocent at this stage.
On Twitter: @TMacPhersonNews
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