A handful of people marched with signs outside provincial court on Charlottetown on Monday to show support for the family of Tyson MacDonald, the 17-year-old whose body was found last month in eastern P.E.I.
Inside, the victim's relatives and friends piled into one side of the packed courtroom, as one of the two young people accused of killing him appeared at a hearing meant to determine whether he'll have to remain in jail as the case proceeds.
Some of the accused teen's family members sat on the other side of the court.
MacDonald went missing on Dec. 14. After an extensive search, police found his body five days later.
Two young people have been charged with first-degree murder and hiding human remains, and one also faces additional charges of accessory after the fact, public mischief and obstruction of a peace officer.
Members of Tyson MacDonald's family enter Charlottetown Provincial Court on Monday. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)
Both have been in youth jail since their arrest.
Because of their age and the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, there is a publication ban preventing CBC News from naming either of the accused, and a further publication ban preventing us from sharing any further details of Monday's hearing.
Angela Patton was in the crowd calling for justice outside the courthouse. She works with MacDonald's uncle and has a son attending Montague Regional High School, where MacDonald was a Grade 12 student.
"It's pretty close to home, and the kids were feeling nervous when they went back to school," she said. "I'm hoping if justice is served, maybe they'll have a bit of peace."
A woman holds a sign in support of Tyson MacDonald outside court Monday. (Steve Bruce/CBC)
Bob Rafuse, who was also among the supporters outside court, said the tragedy has shaken P.E.I.
"There is a general sense across the Island that everyone is very heartbroken over this," he said.
The other accused teen will appear in court in Georgetown on Thursday.
The Crown prosecutor has said that if the two teens are found guilty, his office would consider asking for them to be sentenced as adults instead of in youth court.