Tuesday marked the second day of a preliminary hearing for the couple accused of murdering Halifax university student Loretta Saunders.

Blake Leggette, 26, and his girlfriend Victoria Henneberry, 28, are charged with first-degree murder in Saunders’ death.

They arrived at Halifax provincial court in separate vans Tuesday morning.

“To me they weren’t real people until I seen them yesterday, since my daughter’s death,” said the victim’s mother, Miriam Saunders.

“I’ve heard of them. I’ve never really seen them and to me, I haven’t really yet accepted that my daughter was murdered.”

Rather than hearing from police witnesses, Judge Ann Derrick ordered the media and public out of the courtroom so the lawyers could argue the admissibility of evidence. Only the accused, the lawyers and sheriffs were allowed to stay.

After hearing arguments from the defence and Crown attorneys, the judge has reserved her decision until Wednesday.

“It is taking a bit of time, but the family is appreciative of the fact it is being thoroughly done and we respect that,” said Saunders’ cousin, Lisa White. “It is all for Loretta. Justice will prevail.”

Five days have been set aside for the preliminary inquiry. The Crown said Monday it expects to hear evidence from all 15 witnesses by Thursday, but extra time is available if needed.

A publication ban prevents media from reporting much of the evidence heard in court.

Saunders, 26, was originally from Labrador but was a student at Saint Mary’s University at the time of her death. The Inuk woman had been writing a thesis on murdered and missing aboriginal women.

She was last seen alive at her apartment in Halifax’s Cowie Hill neighbourhood on Feb. 13 and was reported missing Feb. 17.

Her body was found in a hockey bag in a ditch off the Trans-Canada Highway near Salisbury, N.B. on Feb. 26.

Her family says she was three months’ pregnant at the time.

The preliminary inquiry continues Wednesday.

Miriam Saunders said her family will see the case through to the end.

“As a parent, I think I have the right to know what was done to my daughter.”

With files from CTV Atlantic's Kelland Sundahl