Body parts killer jailed for life
A Canadian man was sentenced to life in prison today for killing and dismembering his Chinese lover and mailing the body parts to schools and political parties around the country.
Luka Magnotta was convicted of first-degree murder for the 2012 killing of Jun Lin after eight days of jury deliberations. He was also convicted on four related charges and given maximum sentences allowed under Canada's Criminal Code, ranging from two to 10 years, for those charges.
The sentence carries the possibility of parole after 25 years.
Magnotta, 32, had pleaded not guilty. While he admitted to the killing, he sought to be found not criminally responsible by reason of insanity. His lawyer argued he is schizophrenic and couldn't tell right from wrong at the time of the killing.
The prosecution countered the crime was both planned and deliberate and that Magnotta's behaviour and actions were not those of an insane person.
"I thought we had good evidence of premeditation," said prosecutor Louis Bouthillier outside of the Montreal court house. "There was never a doubt the jury would find Magnotta guilty of first-degree murder."
A key piece of evidence for the prosecution was an email Magnotta sent to a British reporter of his macabre plan six months before the murder.
Reporter Alex West confronted Magnotta in London in December 2011 about cat killing videos he made that had created a stir online. Magnotta replied with an email that said cats were just the beginning.
"Next time you hear from me it will be in a movie I am producing, that will have some humans in it," Magnotta wrote near the end of the email sent December 10 2011.
Later in that message, he added: "Once you kill, and taste blood, its impossible to stop. The urge is just too strong not to continue."
After the verdicts, a lawyer read out an impact statement on behalf of Lin's father, Diran Lin, who travelled to Montreal from China and watched proceedings throughout the trial from a private room in the courthouse.
"I had come to see your trial system to see justice done and I leave satisfied that you have not let my son down," Daniel Urbas told the emotionally charged room. "I had come to see remorse, to hear some form of apology, and I leave without anything."
The case shocked Canadians and quickly gained international notoriety when 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.
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 rubbish 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.
Lin, 33, was born in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province. He had only been living in Canada since 2011, realising a long-standing dream by going to Montreal. His family has said that Lin had a comfortable life working 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.