It took seven years, but the first trial to bring justice to Brian Fudge's death was held in an Ottawa courtroom Tuesday.

Fudge died after an alleged assault in the parking lot of the Merivale mall on New Year's Eve in 2004. His injuries were so severe he never recovered.

Fudge's family says the pain is still fresh. They were in emotional in court as prosecutors described how two men allegedly assaulted him.

"His head was repeatedly slammed into the stainless steel bars…10 to 20 times. Brian was utterly defenseless," said Crown prosecutor Jason Neubauer.

His father, Brian, says he is cautiously optimistic justice will be served.

Charlie Manasseri, 49, has been charged with second-degree murder. George Kenney, 25, is facing a manslaughter charge for a separate attack on Fudge outside of the bar.

It is not known if the two men knew each other or what led to the alleged attacks.

Fudge has just completed a two-year college program and was aspiring to be a police officer. He was celebrating his 22nd birthday on the night he was attacked.

Witnesses say Fudge was drunk.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Vanessa Lee