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Crown attorney Terry Nickerson walks out of the court room on May 13, 2024. (Jacob Moore/Acadia Broadcasting)

Four teenagers accused in Al Marrach murder to remain in custody

By Jacob Moore May 14, 2024 | 12:06 AM

All four teenagers charged with second-degree murder in the death of Ahmad Al Marrach will stay behind bars after appearing in court Monday morning.

The prosecution will determine by the end of the week if they will ask to put all four teenagers on trial together or have separate trials, according to Terry Nickerson, crown attorney.

“This is very early stages of the prosecution,” says Nickerson.

Al Marrach was stabbed to death on April 22. He was a student at Citadel High and originally came to Nova Scotia from Syria in 2016.

At their next court appearances, the teens will choose their plea and potentially their election, whether they want to be tried by the judge and jury. Their identities are protected from publication under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Nickerson says the lawyers for the accused have only recently been given the evidence in the case, and they need time to look it over with their clients.

“They will let us know what they decide to do on the next appearance,” he says.

The charges

One of the two 16-year-old boys charged will appear in court Tuesday morning. Unrelated to the murder, he faces charges two charges of possessing drugs for the purpose of trafficking.

The 14-year-old boy and the second 16-year-old charged in the case will appear in court Friday. The 14-year-old boy will also be on trial for sexual assault Oct. 7 and 8.

The 14-year-old girl will appear again in court on June 21.

Crown lawyer Sharon Goodwin says this case is tragic, and the Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service is taking this very seriously.

“That’s why we have put three crown attorneys on this file, which as I’m sure you know, is unusual,” says Goodwin.

The three attorneys are Sharon Goodwin, Terry Nickerson and Sarah Kirby.

Separating the accused

One of the lawyers, representing the 16-year-old who will appear in court Tuesday morning, wants him moved to a youth facility, opposed to the Northeast Correctional Facility.

Because the youths are co-accused, they have to be in separate facilities, says Nickerson.

“These four young people are all co accused and can’t have any contact with each other resources are limited at Waterville [Nova Scotia Youth Centre]. So housing and transport is an issue,” Nickerson says.

All of the accused cannot be name due to their age.