Matthew Foerster will have to wait longer behind bars for his murder trial after his lawyer quit the case.
The Cherryville man charged with beating Taylor Van Diest to death in Armstrong has a new lawyer, but she's waiting for legal-aid approval before she takes the case. Georgia Docolas told a judge Monday she'll ask to adjourn the six-week trial because she's unavailable when it starts April 22.
Foerster, 26, lost his bid to get out on bail and to face trial in Vancouver. B.C. Supreme Court Justice Alison Beames rejected both applications in October, so he'll remain in custody until his trial in Kelowna.
His lawyer Don Morrison withdrew from the case but didn't say why. He said Monday that RCMP investigators gave their full file to the Crown only recently, and prosecutor Iain Currie must go over it before he discloses it to Foerster's lawyer.
"There are no magical, quick ways these things are done," said Morrison, a former prosecutor himself.
Morrison introduced Docolas to Foerster and she has met with him twice. She said it's "unusual" that the Legal Services Society has yet to refer her as Foerster's lawyer.
The case was adjourned to Jan. 28, when Docolas will apply to adjourn the trial.
Foerster, who appeared in court Monday by video, is charged with murdering 18-year-old Van Diest as she walked along railway tracks in Armstrong to meet a friend on Halloween night 2011. Her death terrified the community and sparked a manhunt that led to Foerster's arrest in Ontario in April.
Foerster is also charged with sexually assaulting a woman at a Kelowna escort agency in 2005. Police say DNA left at the scene linked him to Taylor's death, which prompted investigators to have the woman describe her attacker to a sketch artist.
Once released, the composite drawing inspired people to suggest who the attacker looked like, and police began focusing on Foerster.
Another woman in Cherryville accuses him of a third offence. Police allege he broke into her room in 2004 and sexually assaulted her.
His father, Stephen Foerster of Cherryville, is charged with obstruction and being an accessory to murder. He's asking for a bail review on Thursday.