Suspect in cannibalistic Canada murder pleads not guilty

Tue Jun 19, 2012 5:46pm EDT
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By Rita Devlin Marier

MONTREAL (Reuters) - A Canadian porn actor accused of killing a Chinese student, dismembering and cannibalizing his body and posting a bloody video of the crime online pleaded not guilty to all charges on Tuesday as his lawyers considered whether to seek a psychiatric evaluation.

Luka Rocco Magnotta, 29, appeared by video link in a packed Montreal courtroom, and lawyer Pierre Panaccio said Magnotta understood the charges and waived having them read out.

Magnotta's next court appearance, also by video, will be on Thursday.

"I felt and we all felt it would be easier for all concerned for him to appear via video link," prosecutor Louis Bouthillier told reporters after the brief hearing.

Magnotta is charged with the first-degree murder of Jun Lin, as well as criminal harassment, interfering with a dead body, mailing obscene materials and publishing obscene materials.

Police say the video, which they believe is genuine, showed a man stabbing his victim to death before dismembering and defiling the corpse and then eating part of the body.

Lin's hands and feet were mailed to the offices of political parties in Ottawa and to schools in Vancouver, his torso was found in a pile of garbage behind Magnotta's Montreal apartment, and his head is still missing. Police say Lin, 32, was killed on May 24 or 25.

The case has horrified Canada, and Montreal police have described the crime scene as the worst they have ever seen.   Continued...

Luka Rocco Magnotta, 29, accused of killing a Chinese student, Jun Lin, and sending his feet and hands in the mail to the offices of two Canadian political parties and two Vancouver schools, is escorted off a plane from Germany by Montreal police in Montreal June 18, 2012 in this handout photo. Magnotta, who is accused of first-degree murder, was arrested in a cyber cafe in Berlin two weeks ago. REUTERS/SPVM/Handout.