The long criminal saga of Luka Magnotta is over.
Magnota has formally dropped his request to appeal his conviction in the May 2012 murder of Concordia University engineering student Jun Lin.
Magnotta appeared this morning before the Quebec Court of Appeal by video conference from prison on Wednesday. He was wearing a white tshirt, standing behind bars, and showed no emotion as he spoke in a voice that was louder and clearer than it ever was in past court appearances.
When questioned by Court of Appeal judge Geneviève Marcotte and his lawyer Luc Leclair, Magnotta said he was aware of the consequences of abandoning his motions to appeal, that he was doing it voluntarily and he needed no more time to think about it further.
The decision comes on the day the request to appeal was to have been heard in court.
After eight days of deliberation, the jury found Magnotta guilty of first-degree murder last December in the slaying and dismemberment of Lin. He was also found guilty of four other charges: 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. Magnotta will spend life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.
“We were asking for a new trial. And then he started putting his mind to a new trial, coming back to RDP (jail), facing 12 jurors again, facing the reporters, facing the same evidence over, having his whole life put out,” Leclair told reporters.
“It’s not a pleasant experience.”
Leclair also said that the crown’s case was very strong and there was a possibility of another conviction.
The lawyer for the family of Jun Lin told reporters the family is relieved and appreciated Magnotta’s decision. Daniel Urbas said now the way is clear to set up a meeting between Magnotta and Lin’s father.
“I’ve heard many people say, why would the father want an apology. Well, it’s his decision. He wants to hear something, some kind of response, remorse from the killer of his son and he would like to learn more about what happened that night, how it came to happen,” said Urbas.
Leclair said his client is open to the meeting.
“It’s more in the spirit of truth and reconciliation to the extent that something can be shared and answer the father’s questions perhaps. Although to what extent, I don’t know, but I think it would be beneficial,” said Leclair.
Magnotta admitted to killing and dismembering Lin but his lawyer argued he should have been found not criminally responsible because of mental disorder.
Crown prosecutor Louis Bouthillier had argued the crime was planned and deliberate and that Magnotta’s behaviour and actions were inconsistent with someone suffering from a mental disorder.