Family of Maple Ridge teen face accused in court

Julie and Danielle Raymond at the courthouse on Monday. - Colleen Flanagan/The News
Julie and Danielle Raymond at the courthouse on Monday.
— image credit: Colleen Flanagan/The News

A preliminary inquiry for a woman charged in connection with the death of a Maple Ridge teen heard from people who were the last to see Shannon Raymond alive, Monday in Port Coquitlam Provincial Court.

It was the first time the family of the 16-year-old were in the same room as Victoria Turley, who faces one count of failure to provide the necessities of life in connection with the death of Shannon – a charge laid under a rarely used section of the Canadian Criminal Code.

Dressed in purple, Shannon’s favourite colour, her mother Julie and older sister Danielle were flanked by friends and family, who filled three rows of seats in the court room.

“Seeing Victoria [Turley] left me with a host of feelings, from emptiness and wanting to reach across and choke her,” Julie Raymond said following a day of testimony from people who were the last to see her daughter alive.

Shannon, 16, was found dead at 6 a.m. on July 26, 2008 at Turley’s home in Maple Ridge after attending a party on a bus.

Ridge Meadows RCMP will not say how Raymond died, but allege she was in the care of the accused and was in medical distress, which Turley failed to address.

Turley, who no longer lives in Maple Ridge, was arrested and charged in October 2009 after an investigation that took more than a year.

Although a trial for Turley was set to begin in provincial court on Valentine’s Day, she filled a re-election application in January, asking to be tried in front of a Supreme Court justice instead.

The trial dates are now being used for a preliminary inquiry, which allows the defense to explore the case and hear the evidence Crown has against Turley.

Evidence presented at the preliminary inquiry is protected by a publication ban.

For Shannon’s family, hearing testimony from friends and acquaintances who were with her on the party bus was difficult.

Her mother said Shannon’s death is a reminder to teenagers to err on the side of caution when partying.

“All they had to do is make one phone call and Shannon might still be here,” she added.

The inquiry ends on Wednesday, Feb. 16.

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