Jury starts deliberation in Canada dismemberment trial

Mon Dec 15, 2014 6:01pm EST
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By Allison Lampert

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Jurors began deliberations on Monday in the trial of a Canadian man who killed and dismembered a Chinese student in 2012, weighing the defense's claim of mental illness against grisly evidence the prosecution said showed careful planning and execution.

Luka Magnotta, 32, has admitted to killing engineering student Jun Lin, 33, in 2012 but has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder on grounds of mental illness. He is also accused of defiling a corpse, videotaping the acts, and mailing body parts to elementary schools and political parties.

The prosecution said Magnotta was "a man on a mission" and carefully planned the killing.

"Make your decision without sympathy. Do not be influenced by public opinion," Justice Guy Cournoyer told the jurors, who have heard graphic evidence in the 11-week trial.

"You have to ask yourself whether a mental disorder deprived Mr. Magnotta of the capacity to decide rationally whether the acts were wrong."

The jury was shown a video Magnotta posted online of the killing, which included a soundtrack and was entitled "One Lunatic, One Ice Pick". The prosecution said that six months before the killing, Magnotta emailed a British journalist to say he planned to kill a human and make a movie of it.

The jury heard that Magnotta, a gay escort, had been hospitalized in 2001, and had sought psychiatric help about a month before Lin's death. Magnotta's father, who testified at the trial, also has a medical history of schizophrenia.

Magnotta, sitting behind a glass panel, gazed at a document in his lap as the judge instructed the jurors. He did not testify during the trial.   Continued...

An artist's sketch shows Luka Rocco Magnotta, appearing in court for his preliminary hearing in Montreal, March 11, 2013.  REUTERS/Atalante