Chinese student stabbed 55 times, then dismembered, Canada trial told

Thu Oct 9, 2014 5:42pm EDT
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MONTREAL (Reuters) - A Chinese student who was killed in Canada in May 2012 was stabbed 55 times and then dismembered, a forensic pathologist told a Montreal court on Thursday.

Canadian Luka Magnotta, 32, has admitted to killing and dismembering Chinese student Jun Lin, videotaping the acts and mailing parts of the body to elementary schools and to two political parties. He is pleading not guilty due to mental illness.

Pathologist Yann Daze, who conducted a five-day autopsy on the body of Lin, told the court he could not say whether the university student was still alive when he was decapitated since his head, found in July 2012 in a Montreal park, was in such an advanced state of decay.

"The victim lost a lot of blood before his death,” Daze told the court, adding that a toxicology report found the presence of a sleeping pill and allergy medicine in Lin's system.

The pathologist had to put the body together in early June after recovering Lin's hands and feet, which had been mailed to schools in Vancouver and to the Ottawa offices of two political parties.

While Daze did not provide an exact cause of death, he said Lin's neck was cut and the left side of his skull and cheekbone was fractured.

The prosecutor in the case says Magnotta planned the killing for at least six months before the crime was committed, and that he had emailed a British journalist in 2011 saying he planned to kill a human being and videotape the act.

A publication ban imposed by the court at a preliminary hearing has barred media from reporting certain details of the case. Explicit details were publicized during the international search to capture Magnotta, but cannot be repeated until they are presented at trial. The jury was not being sequestered.

The killing of Lin shocked Canadians and grabbed headlines around the world. Magnotta was the subject of an international manhunt. He was arrested in an Internet cafe in Berlin, where he was reading about himself.

(Editing by Amran Abocar; and Peter Galloway)

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