|HOME | NEWS | HEADLINES|
|March 30, 2000|
Girl Accused of Killing Reena Says She Is Being 'Framed'
A P Kamath
A jury of six men and six women, who heard eloquent pleas from the defense and the prosecution, has begun deliberating on Wednesday the fate of a teen accused of beating and drowning Reena Virk.
Defense lawyers for 17-year-old Kelly Ellard say she is being framed by her schoolmates who were actually responsible for Reena's brutal death.
Before the deliberations began, Judge Nancy Morrison warned jurors that they had to be very careful in evaluating the witnesses who had already been convicted for their part in the crime.
Reena was killed more than two years ago. Eight students, including one boy, participated in beating her, and two of them stayed back reportedly to give her more beating that led to her death.
The jury is weighing Kelly Ellard's role. She is charged with pushing Reena under the water and holding her head there as he fought for her life. Her body was discovered eight days later.
Ellard, 17, is the eighth and final teen to be charged in the vicious gang beating which took place in a Victoria suburb. Reena was apparently disliked by her attackers.
Six girls, aged 14 to 16, were convicted of various degrees of assault in the case that drew national attention. Several publications in America too ran stories on teenage violence and aggression.
The girls received light sentences; some were in detention for a few weeks, a few for a year. But Warren Glowatski, 18, was convicted last spring of second-degree murder. He did not join the current trial, but he has clearly implicated Ellard as the person who killed Reena.
Ellard told the court last week that while she beat Reena, she did not kill her. In fact, she claimed, she tried to save her from other girls and from Glowatski.
The prosecution has alleged that after eight teens -- including Ellard -- beat Reena under a bridge a first time, Ellard and Glowatski followed 14-year-old Reena in an attempt to make sure she didn't "rat them out"and their friends.
Reena, who had been estranged from her parents, had called them and talked to her brother, telling him she wanted to spend the night with the family. But before she could reach the bus stop, she was dragged away for a second beating.
The trial, moved to Vancouver because of the publicity it had received in Victoria, has heard testimony that Reena would have died of her massive head and internal injuries even if she had not drowned.
The jury has also heard from witnesses who say Ellard boasted of the killing many times.
One witness swore Ellard bragged of smoking a cigarette while drowning Reena.
But defense lawyers say the statements are lies and that Ellard is being 'framed' because she did not belong to the group that participated in the first beating.
They, particularly Glowatski, wanted to blame her in order to make themselves look better, her lawyers say.
Ellard has said Glowatski told her later in the night of the beating that he joined two other teens -- who were convicted for their part in the first attack -- to attack again.
He did not take the stand in Ellard's trial because he has planned to appeal his conviction.
SINGLES | NEWSLINKS | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEATHER | MILLENNIUM | BROADBAND | E-CARDS | EDUCATION
HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK