Jun Lin

Luka Magnotta to appeal convictions and seek new trial


Luka Rocco Magnotta’s appeal is expected to be heard next month in the Quebec Court of Appeal.

MONTREAL — Luka Rocco Magnotta is appealing his conviction in the first-degree murder of Jun Lin and wants a new trial.

Documents made public by the Quebec Court of Appeal on Monday outline several reasons for Magnotta’s attempt to have the five convictions annulled, including the one for killing Lin.

The appeal centres primarily on a number of instances in which the defence suggests the judge erred in the case.

After a lengthy trial, jurors deliberated for eight days before finding Magnotta guilty on Dec. 23 of premeditated murder and four other charges in Lin’s slaying in May 2012.

The first-degree murder conviction carried a sentence of life imprisonment with no chance of parole for 25 years.

Magnotta, 32, was also given the maximum sentences on the four other charges.

The documents filed by Toronto-based lawyer Luc Leclair state Quebec Superior Court Justice Guy Cournoyer erred in a number of instances.

“The verdicts are unreasonable and unsupported by the evidence and the instructions,” one of two motions filed by Leclair read.

One motion is a direct appeal of the convictions based on questions of law and could take many months to be heard.

In it, the defence argues Cournoyer erred by:

  • Including an instruction to the jury on motive that confused the issue of intent, planning and deliberation, all while failing to tell them motive had to refer specifically to Lin’s murder.
  • Failing to instruct jurors on a limited use of “bad character” evidence relating to Magnotta.
  • Limiting the number of subjects to be covered in surrebuttal — rebuttal to the Crown’s own expert rebuttal witness.
  • Allowing the jury to discuss the case from the onset instead of waiting until after closing submissions and final instructions were complete.

Leclair also argues Cournoyer erred in instructions he provided on the Section 16 mental disorder defence Magnotta employed.

In the second motion, Magnotta is seeking leave to appeal on questions of “mixed fact and law,” which will require the authorization of the province’s highest court to go forward.

A spokesman for Quebec’s director of criminal and penal prosecutions says the appeal doesn’t come as a shock.

“For the moment it’s not a surprise for us because the accused was convicted of first-degree murder, so it’s usual that the accused appeals that kind of infraction and that kind of conviction,” Jean-Pascal Boucher said in an interview.

The appeal is likely months away as transcripts need to be filed and the prosecution must also submit its reply to the appeal.

The appeal documents were dated last Thursday and include a notice that a hearing will take place in Montreal on Feb. 18.

Leclair denied to comment further when reached by telephone.

Magnotta admitted to killing and dismembering Lin but was seeking to be found not criminally responsible by way of mental disorder.

Psychiatrists who testified for the defence said he was in a psychotic state the night of the killing and couldn’t tell right from wrong.

The Crown countered the crime was planned and deliberate and that Magnotta’s behaviour and actions were incompatible with those of someone supposedly suffering from a disease of the mind.

The jury heard testimony about the gruesome details of Lin’s death and that many of Magnotta’s actions were caught on surveillance video or in images taken by the accused himself.

They also heard about Magnotta’s upbringing and delved into medical files that showed he was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2001.

In the roughly 48 hours following the slaying, Magnotta cut up Lin’s body into 10 pieces, mailing the hands and feet to political offices in Ottawa and primary schools in Vancouver. He also bought a plane ticket for Paris online.

When police put out a warrant for his arrest, Magnotta emptied his bank accounts and fled to Berlin on the same day.

He was ultimately arrested in an Internet cafe in the German city on June 4, 2012.

He was eventually transferred to a Berlin prison hospital, where a psychiatrist’s initial diagnosis was that he was psychotic.

The other charges Magnotta was convicted of were criminally harassing Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other members of Parliament; mailing obscene and indecent material; committing an indignity to a body; and publishing obscene materials.

A Montreal lawyer representing the Lin family says they have been informed of the appeal.

Timeline of events in Luka Rocco Magnotta murder case


MONTREAL – Luka Rocco Magnotta was found guilty on Tuesday of first-degree murder and four other charges in the killing and dismemberment of Jun Lin in May 2012. Here is a timeline of events in the case.

2011:

March: Magnotta arrives in Montreal.

July: Chinese student Jun Lin arrives in Montreal.

December: Magnotta and British journalist Alex West cross paths in London, England. An email sent shortly after to West’s newspaper contains language and comments that seem to foreshadow a human killing in the near future.

2012:

April 17: Magnotta meets with psychiatrist Dr. Joel Paris at Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, where he’s diagnosed as having a personality disorder and is sent home with follow-up appointment.

May 18-19: A mystery man is filmed at Magnotta’s apartment, with 53 seconds worth of footage later appearing in Lin dismemberment video. In it, Magnotta is seen brandishing hand-held electric saw over the man, who is blindfolded and snoring heavily.

May 24: Lin last seen by friends and last spotted entering Magnotta’s apartment building on apartment surveillance video at 10:16 p.m.

May 25-26: Magnotta seen coming and going from apartment, emptying its contents, including victim’s body.

May 26: Montana lawyer Roger Renville sees bizarre Internet video he believes is snuff film depicting bound man being stabbed to death and dismembered.

May 26: Magnotta departs Montreal on Paris-bound Air Transat flight.

May 27: Renville alerts U.S. and Canadian police to Internet video but they dismiss it as a fake.

May 29: Montreal police called to low-rent apartment building after janitor finds dismembered torso in suitcase left in trash. Same day, foot is found in package mailed to Conservative party in Ottawa and hand is found in package in Canada Post warehouse. Package destined for Liberal party. Lin reported missing by friends.

May 30: Montreal police name Magnotta as prime suspect and say national warrant issued for his arrest. Interpol adds him to wanted list, putting police in 190 countries on alert. Montreal police find video on Internet and try unsuccessfully to have it taken down.

May 31: Montreal police confirm they have video apparently showing man tied to bed, being killed and then dismembered.

May 31: Magnotta boards overnight bus from Paris bound for Berlin.

June 1: Montreal police identify torso victim as Lin, a 33-year-old Chinese computer science student at Concordia University. Warrant issued for Magnotta on upgraded first-degree murder charge. Police say Magnotta also charged with threatening Prime Minister Stephen Harper because of foot mailed to Conservative Party of Canada offices.

June 1: Magnotta arrives in Berlin.

June 2: French police conduct “targeted” searches.

June 3: French media report Magnotta stayed in low-budget hotel in Paris. French media report police checking claims of two people who say they saw him. Chinese Embassy in Ottawa issues statement advising Chinese visitors to Canada to take safety precautions.

June 4: German police acting on tip arrest Magnotta in Berlin in Internet cafe. He faces charges of first-degree murder, committing indignity to dead body, mailing obscene material and criminally harassing prime minister and several unidentified MPs. Harper, attending Queen’s Jubilee in Britain, congratulates police on their quick work.

June 5: Two schools in Vancouver receive packages containing human remains: a hand and a foot. In Berlin, Magnotta informs authorities he will not fight extradition. Lin’s family arrives in Montreal.

June 11: Magnotta transferred to Berlin prison hospital where observing psychiatrist is convinced he’s in psychotic state.

June 13: Forensic tests allow Montreal police to confirm torso, feet and hands all belong to Lin. Berlin court orders Magnotta to remain behind bars pending extradition to Canada.

June 18: Magnotta arrives in Montreal aboard Canadian military plane. Video and photos provided by city police show him handcuffed and surrounded by detectives as he gets off aircraft.

June 19: Magnotta pleads not guilty after being formally charged with first-degree murder of Lin, along with defiling his corpse, harassing Harper and MPs, and publishing and mailing obscene material.

June 21: Magnotta makes in-person court appearance in Montreal to set future court dates (previous appearance was via video conference). Is represented by Toronto lawyer Luc Leclair.

July 1: Tip leads Montreal police to a park in Montreal’s west end, where they discover Lin’s skull near a pond.

July 4: Forensic tests allow Montreal police to confirm body part found three days earlier was Lin’s head.

2013:

March 11: Preliminary hearing begins. Magnotta’s lawyers argue, unsuccessfully, that courtroom should be closed to public and media. Courtroom remains open and more routine publication ban is applied to details of hearing.

March 12: Jun Lin’s father, Diran, leaves courtroom in tears after hearing evidence. Details of that evidence are subject to publication ban. Members of Lin’s family from China are in Canada to follow case.

March 19: Magnotta collapses in court during preliminary hearing while appearing distraught by evidence presented against him. Still handcuffed, he falls to his side in prisoner’s box and curls into fetal position.

April 12: Magnotta ordered to stand trial on five charges, including first-degree murder, in decision by Quebec court Judge Lori-Renee Weitzman.

April 29: Trial date set for September 2014.

Nov. 13: Magnotta enters fresh not-guilty pleas.

2014:

Feb. 7: Justice Guy Cournoyer grants order to allow witness testimony to be gathered in France and Germany.

July 21: Cournoyer rules out blanket publication ban on trial evidence.

Sept. 8: Jury selection begins.

Sept. 19: Jury finalized after eight days of selection hearings.

Sept. 29: Trial begins with Leclair saying his client admits to slaying Lin, but said he intends to show he was not criminally responsible at the time.

Oct. 31: Crown prosecutor Louis Bouthillier closes case against Magnotta after presenting 48 witnesses.

Nov. 25: Defence rests case after calling 12 witnesses.

Dec. 4: Jury hears from last of six rebuttal witnesses, bringing total number to 66.

Dec. 10: Leclair urges jurors in closing arguments to find Magnotta not criminally responsible. Tells them not to get bogged down in various expert reports and says “insanity is insanity.”

Dec. 11: In his closing arguments, Bouthillier asks jurors to convict Magnotta on all five charges. Tells them the accused was “purposeful, mindful, ultra-organized and ultimately responsible for his actions.”

Dec. 15: Cournoyer gives instructions to jurors and they are then sequestered to decide the verdict.

Dec. 16: Jury begins deliberations.

Dec. 23: Jurors find Magnotta guilty of all five charges on their eighth day of deliberations

Luka Rocco Magnotta was convicted on Dec. 23 and sentenced to life imprisonment, with no chance of applying for parole for 25 years.

Luka Magnotta Pleads Not Guilty To Dismembering Lover On Video


Update June 20, 2012 Source : http://www.huffingtonpost.com

Magnotta

Luka Rocco Magnotta, the Canadian porn actor accused of dismembering his Chinese lover, having sex with and eating his corpse on video, and then mailing his body parts to schools, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to five charges, including first-degree murder.

In his first court appearance since his extradition from Germany to Montreal, the 29-year-old Magnotta entered a plea by videoconference from a Montreal detention center, CBS News reported.

Magnotta’s lawyer, Pierre Panaccio, asked that Magnotta undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine whether he’s criminally responsible for the killing. The court will consider the request on Thursday.

The porn actor allegedly killed his lover and roommate, 33-year-old Jun Lin, and sent his hands and feet to Canada’s political parties and two schools. Cops are still looking for Lin’s head.

Investigators say that a video recorded by Magnotta shows him having sex with Lin’s corpse and eating part of it.

The videos and body parts started a worldwide manhunt for Magnotta. He was arrested this month in Germany.

Luka Magnotta Case: Body Parts Sent To Vancouver Schools Confirmed As Jun Lin


June 13, 2012 Source : http://www.huffingtonpost.com

TORONTO — Police say DNA results confirm that the body parts mailed to two Vancouver schools last week belong to the Chinese student who was killed and dismembered in Montreal.

Montreal police Cmdr. Ian Lafreniere said Wednesday that all the body parts match. A foot and a hand were also mailed to two of Canada’s top political parties in Ottawa.

Police suspect Luka Magnotta of killing Jun Lin and posting a video online that shows him having sex with the dismembered corpse. Magnotta was caught in Berlin last week and is facing extradition.

One of Lin’s feet and a hand were mailed to two schools last week. His head is still missing.

Luka Rocca Magnotta case: Vigil announced for Lin Jun


June 13, 2012 Source : http://www.montrealgazette.com

Thursday's memorial to slaying victim Lin Jun is being organized by friends who announced it on a Facebook tribute page and on Twitter.

MONTREAL – A candlelight vigil will be held Thursday evening in memory of Lin Jun, the victim of a “devastating” dismemberment slaying his family says not only shook them but society as a whole.

The vigil is to be held at 9 p.m. at Dorchester Square, at Peel St. and René Lévesque Blvd. The site is a few blocks from Concordia University, where Lin studied computer science and engineering.

Thursday’s memorial is being organized by friends who announced it on a Facebook tribute page and Twitter.

The vigil was announced after Lin’s family released a heartfelt letter to the public on Tuesday expressing their gratitude for the support they’ve received since their son was killed.

“Everyone has showed great sympathy and compassionate support to help to make things easier for us,” they said. “We are deeply touched by the kindness inspired by this human tragedy.”

Lin’s torso was discovered in a suitcase outside a working-class apartment building in Montreal on May 29. A hand and foot were mailed to political parties in Ottawa and another hand and foot were later delivered to schools in Vancouver.

The slaying of Lin sparked an international manhunt which led to the arrest in Berlin last week of Luka Rocco Magnotta, a porn actor and model who police said was acquainted with the Chinese student. He is charged with first-degree murder in Lin’s death.

Lin’s grieving parents, sister and uncle arrived in Montreal last week to settle his affairs and bring his body back to China for burial.

In the meantime, a fund was created to pay for their expenses and an award was announced to keep Lin’s memory alive.

“It is our wish to take this opportunity to turn a devastating situation into something positive that brings the goodness and peace back to society,” the family wrote in the letter.

A small shrine was set up after his death near Concordia by the statue of Norman Bethune, a Canadian surgeon who became a Chinese hero because of his work in their country. Other messages of sympathy have been posted in the convenience store where Lin worked.

In the letter, his family said his killing had been a brutal blow to them.

“This tragic loss is not only a devastating attack to our family, but also has had a tremendous impact on the whole society. Love and trust must be rebuilt.”

Lin’s parents quoted his friends, who described him as optimistic, ambitious and open-minded.

“Jun Lin was our beloved son,” the family wrote in the letter. “As the only son in the family, he was our pride and hope. Jun Lin believed in Buddhism. He was very kind and always helping others. To his parents, he was a loving and considerate son. To his sister, he was a big brother who was always there for her.”

Lin was also remembered as a keen student and model employee at the convenience store where he worked.

The family also called for the extradition of his alleged killer back to Canada “to bring justice and peace to our family, the Chinese community and the whole society.

“To commemorate Jun Lin, please let us remember his kindness, diligence and love of life,” the family concluded.