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Halifax Provincial Court is pictured on May 14, 2024. (Jacob Moore/Acadia Broadcasting)

Teenagers plead not guilty for murder of Halifax high school student

By Jacob Moore May 17, 2024 | 2:08 PM

All four teenagers accused of second-degree murder in the death of Halifax high school student have plead not guilty.

The four accused of killing 16-year-old Ahmad Al Marrach also elected a trial by a judge in Youth Justice Court, with dates set in September and October.

They appeared in court Friday morning by video call, represented by their lawyers. Al Marrach’s mother also visited court, along with people from the community.

The four teenagers, three boys, two aged 16 and one aged 14, along with a 14-year-old girl, are accused of second-degree murder. On Tuesday, the crown told the court that they would be tried together from here on out.

RELATED: Four youth charged in Al Marrach murder will be tried together

Police found 16-year-old Ahmad Al Marrach stabbed in a shopping mall parking lot on April 22. He later died in hospital.

A pre-trial will happen in June, followed by a show cause hearing, where the crown will provide evidence to keep

Crown prosecutor Terry Nickerson, one of three assigned to the file, says the pre-trial will deal with any issues with evidence ahead of the trial.

“On a file like this, there is a large volume of material. We get it from the police. We have to give it to, in this case, eight defense lawyers,” says Nickerson.

Aside from the large volume of material in the case, Nickerson says the other major issue with having four accused and multiple defense lawyers is scheduling. It’s hard to find time when everyone is available, he says.

Brandon Role, representing the 14-year-old girl accused in the case, told the court he hopes to get her out on bail after a show cause hearing in June. At a show cause hearing, the crown has to give reasons to justify why someone is held in custody.

Crown seeking adult penalty

The team of crown prosecutors is seeking adult convictions for the teenagers.

Nickerson says this is because the crown wants to leave options open throughout the case. If they were not trying the teenagers as adults, it would be more difficult to open that option up later on.

Under the Youth Criminal justice Act, a youth convicted of second-degree murder would serve seven years, partly in custody and partly under supervision in the community.

If the youths are tried as adults, they would be in prison for life, with the chance at parole after several years.