It was an emotional morning in court for the family of 19-year-old Luka Gordic, stabbed to death in Whistler last May.
The high security trial for three of the four accused began in B.C. Supreme Court.
Dozens of family and friends, wearing”Justice for Luka” t-shirts, filled the underground courtroom as the three young offenders sat behind bullet proof glass, wearing grey suits and ties.
One of the accused pleaded not guilty to second degree murder.
The other two pleaded not guilty to manslaughter.
READ MORE: Burnaby teen stabbed and killed in Whistler
In Crown’s opening statements, prosecutor Julie Robinson says Gordic had travelled to Whistler earlier in the day and witnesses saw him approach another group of young men, whom he believed knew one of the young males, now accused in the attack.
Crown says Gordic told the group he heard the accused was abusive to his ex-girlfriend, and he should stop treating her like that.
Word got back to the accused, which prompted several angry phone calls and a plan to meet at the Olympic rings to fight.
Crown says when the accused didn’t show, Gordic continued on with his fun-filled weekend.
Gordic was exiting a 711 when he was swarmed by a group of 8-15 young males and stabbed three times, once through the heart, according to the prosecution.
Crown says it will present DNA evidence and eye witness testimony linking the accused to the crime.
A fourth accused will stand trial separately in February.
Family in court
Luka’s uncle Mike Gordic says it was difficult to see the men accused of his nephew’s death and to hear crown’s opening remarks.
But Gordic says the trial is the beginning of closure for the family.
“We have full confidence in the legal system and full confidence in the crown prosecutor, doing a great job.”
As the day wrapped up the judge asked friends and family who dawned ‘Justice for Luka’ t-shirts to refrain from wearing them in the courtroom.
“I’m going to wear my shirt in the public and I won’t in the courtroom, I got an order from the judge and I’ll respect that.”
With files from Emily Lazatin