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March 10, 2000
Prosecution ready to submit evidence in Virk case
A P Kamath
As a stunned court continued to hear the details in the drowning death of Reena Virk, which prompted a national discussion on youth violence, particularly among young girls, prosecutors seemed certain of convicting the 17-year-old girl, the last person to face trial.
Prosecutors said Kelly Ellard had told her classmates that she held Virk's head under water until the girl drowned. Virk was 14 at the time of her death.
Ellard's lawyer has said he would vigorously defend her and attack the credibility of Warren Glowatski, the young man who had taken part in the attack, and who has implicated Ellard in the final moments of the beating.
Virk was beaten up by a group of eight girls and one boy -- all from her school in Victoria in British Columbia -- who considered her eccentric and unfriendly.
Prosecutor Ruth Picha said in opening statements at Ellard's trial on Tuesday in a British Columbia court: "We'll hear how Ellard told others about how she held her (Virk's) head under the water and drowned her."
"Kelly Ellard . . . commences her assault on Reena. Reena tries to escape. She tries to go up the steps," Picha continued.
"She is swarmed and assaulted again and again by a group of seven girls and one boy."
Though the group allowed Virk to walk away, Ellard and Glowatski, followed her, she said.
"Ellard confessed to friends that she and Glowatski caught up with her and continued the beating," Picha said.
Glowatski was found guilty of second-degree murder last year and sentenced to life in prison. He can seek parole only after seven years.
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