Foerster hears charges

Armstrong murder suspect appears in court to hear first degree murder charge, among others

  • May. 11, 2012 6:00 a.m.

Kathy Michaels

Black Press

The man charged in connection with the  Halloween slaying of Armstrong teenager Taylor Van Diest made his second appearance in a Kelowna courtroom Thursday.

Matthew Foerster, 26, who was in attendance via video-link from the North Fraser pretrial centre where he’s been in custody since his April arrest, sat silently in a prisoner’s box as the charge of first degree murder was read in court for the first time.

Previously he faced a second degree murder charge in relation to the Van Diest case, but plans for the upgrade were announced by Mounties several weeks ago.

Foerster was also re-read charges relating to an alleged 2004 Cherryville based crime. Those include break and entering, committing a crime with a masked face, causing bodily harm and confinement. A publication ban on the identity of the victim was applied to that file.

Charges connected to an alleged 2005 crime at a Kelowna escort agency were read in his first court appearance.

Foerster, who’s grown a fuller beard and cut his hair since his arrest,  has yet to apply for bail, and crown counsel indicated there were no plans to do so at a  court appearance scheduled for June 21.

The Cherryville man was arrested early April after he was found hiding in the Ontario town of Collingwood.

His arrest followed an exhaustive manhunt, spurred by the discovery of the Armstrong teen badly beaten on railroad tracks Halloween night, 2011. She later died from her injuries at Kelowna General Hospital.

His father Stephen Roy Foerster was charged with obstruction of justice and accessory after the fact.

Investigators would like to hear from anyone who has information regarding Foerster on Halloween night, 2011. They are urged to call the specially created tip line at 1-888-688-4264.