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A Halifax Regional Police car is parked outside Halifax Provincial Court on April 8, 2024. (Jacob Moore/Acadia Broadcasting)

UPDATED: Crown seeks adult sentence for two 14-year-olds accused of murder

By Jacob Moore Apr 26, 2024 | 2:12 PM

The crown will seek an adult sentence for two 14-year-olds charged with the second-degree murder of Ahmad Maher Al Marrach.

The accused appeared in Youth Justice Court Friday morning and were remanded into custody and will appear in court again on May 13.

They’re charged with murdering Al Marrach on Monday.

Police say they found Al Marrach with serious injuries in a shopping mall parking lot and that he died later in a hospital.

Melissa Noonan is a spokesperson for the Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service. She says case law and legislation suggest the crown attorney should seek an adult sentence before the accused enter a plea to keep prosecution options open for the crown.

If the crown did not want to seek an adult sentence, the crown attorney would have to give the court reasons why, she adds.

Publication ban

Halifax Regional Police are warning people not to violate a publication ban on the identities of the two 14-year-olds, according to a news release.

“If a social media post identifies a youth being dealt with under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA), that constitutes publication and may be grounds for a charge of breaching the publication ban provisions of the YCJA,” the release says.

Police spokesperson John MacLeod says police are aware of social media posts that may identify the two youths.

He says it could also affect the families of the youths involved, the communities, potential witnesses in the case and the investigation in general.

He can’t provide information on specific instances where information was shared, he says. But if police find people in “clear violation” of the publication ban, they could face criminal charges, he says.

He adds that information shared online related to criminal cases could be fabricated and false.

“By sharing some of this information on social media and in other forms online, it has the potential to have, like I say, impacts on the family, on the community, on our investigation, and certainly on the individuals, if [the posts] are found to be a criminal code offense,” says MacLeod.