Prosecutor: Find dismemberment suspect guilty
MONTREAL (AP) — A Canadian man accused of dismembering his Chinese lover and mailing the body parts to schools and political parties around the country kept a promise made several months earlier to take the life of a human being, the prosecutor said Thursday in his closing arguments.
Louis Bouthillier asked jurors to convict Luka Magnotta of first-degree murder and four other charges in the 2012 slaying of Jun Lin.
The gruesome case shocked Canadians and quickly gained international notoriety after body parts arrived at offices of Canada’s biggest political parties and a video appeared online that prosecutors say shows Magnotta stabbing and having sex with the dismembered corpse.
Magnotta, 32, has pleaded not guilty and while he admits to the slaying, he is seeking to be found not criminally responsible by way of mental disorder.
Other charges include committing an indignity to a body; publishing obscene material; criminally harassing Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other members of Parliament; and mailing obscene and indecent material.
In May 2012, a package containing a severed foot was found at the headquarters of Canada’s ruling Conservative Party. That same day, a hand was discovered at a postal facility, in a package addressed to the Liberal Party of Canada.
Lin’s torso was found in a suitcase at a garbage dump outside Magnotta’s apartment building in Montreal. About a week later, the missing foot and hand were found mailed to two schools in Vancouver.
Magnotta eventually was arrested in Berlin after an international manhunt.
Bouthillier took the jury through the evidence and argued Magnotta’s actions demonstrate he was of sound mind before, during and after Lin’s slaying.
Bouthillier said an email Magnotta sent to a British newspaper in 2011 foreshadowed the killing of a human within six months. He said the ominous email was followed by a rehearsal involving an unidentified man who appeared at the beginning of the video that eventually showed Lin being dismembered.
The mystery man would leave Magnotta’s apartment groggy but unharmed on May 19, 2012. Less than a week later, Lin, 33, would be the final subject of the dismemberment snuff film published on the Internet with the title “One Lunatic, One Ice Pick.”
Bouthillier said Magnotta wanted to be famous and was a man “on a mission.” He said Magnotta’s actions were inconsistent with someone who was out of touch with reality and he was not observed doing strange things or talking to himself.
Over the first 48 hours following Lin’s slaying, Magnotta emptied the contents of his apartment, including instruments used to kill and dismember the victim. After the crimes, Magnotta fled the country, attempted to conceal evidence and his own identity from authorities.
The jury heard that the accused dismembered Lin’s body, taking care to triple-bag body parts and mail others. He bought a plane ticket for Paris and even found time to order a pizza.
A suitcase containing Lin’s torso that triggered the police investigation was found slashed, spray-painted and locked, perhaps in an attempt to conceal it, Bouthillier suggested.
After arriving in Paris, Magnotta switched hotels and began using a different name.
His laptop seized in Berlin indicated he had read a story about Lin’s torso being discovered. He quickly fled to Berlin that same day, emptying his bank accounts. The following day, he deleted images and music used in Lin’s dismemberment video posted to the Internet.
The case adjourned until Monday morning as Justice Guy Cournoyer said he needs more time to prepare his final charge to the jury.
Lin, 33, was born in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province. He had only been living in Canada since 2011, realizing a long-standing dream by coming to Montreal. His family has said that Lin had a comfortable life working in IT at Microsoft’s Beijing office, but had sought a move to Canada to study and improve his life.
At the time of his death, Lin was enrolled as a computer engineering student at Concordia University and worked as a part-time convenience store clerk in south-central Montreal.