MONTREAL (Reuters) - The Canadian man who killed and dismembered a Chinese student in Montreal in 2012 was “a man on a mission” who had planned to commit such an act and film it six months in advance, the prosecutor in one of the grisliest trials in Canadian history said in his closing argument on Thursday.
Luka Magnotta, 32, has admitted to killing engineering student Jun Lin, 33, defiling a corpse, videotaping the acts, and mailing parts of the body to elementary schools and political parties.
On Wednesday, Magnotta’s lawyer had argued his client has a long medical history of schizophrenia and is not criminally responsible for Lin’s death due to mental illness.
But in his closing argument, prosecutor Louis Bouthillier said Lin, who had no family in Montreal and no known connection to Magnotta, may have been the “perfect victim” for Magnotta, a gay escort who, in a December 2011 email to a British journalist, had boasted about killing a human and filming the act.
“In this email he said he was going to make a movie with a human,” Bouthillier told the jury in French and in English. “First degree murder is a planned and deliberate murder. It’s right there on this piece of paper.”
Bouthillier pointed to surveillance footage from Magnotta’s gritty Montreal apartment building that showed him discarding bags full of bloodied items during 16 trips to the garbage room over a 48-hour period after Lin’s death in May 2012.
Describing him as “ultra-organized,” Bouthillier questioned why Magnotta would change his phone, dispose of his camera and his laptop after Lin’s death and discard the victim’s torso inside a locked suitcase.
“Is this consistent from someone who doesn’t know right from wrong?” he asked. “Mr. Magnotta, supposedly psychotic, supposedly doesn’t know from right and wrong, looks pretty purposeful, pretty organized.”
After the killing, Magnotta sent body parts to two elementary schools in Vancouver and to two political parties in Ottawa, wrapping the hands and feet in pink tissue paper and including poems and notes.
He then fled to Europe and was arrested in a Berlin Internet cafe, where he was reading about himself.
If Magnotta is found not criminally responsible, he faces an indefinite sentence in a mental institution. If he is convicted, he would get an automatic life sentence with no possibility of parole for 25 years.
The jury is scheduled to begin deliberations on Monday.
Editing by Peter Galloway