On the night she died, Liu, a 23-year-old international student from Beijing, had been in an online video chat with her boyfriend, who lives in China. At about 1 a.m. and while her boyfriend was still on her web cam, there was a knock on Liu's door. She opened her door to a man and a struggle ensued.
Liu's body was found in her apartment on April 15, 2011, after police were notified by Canadian friends of her boyfriend.
The cause of death has not been disclosed.
Dickson, 32, tried to plead guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter on Friday as jury selection for his murder trial was underway, but the Crown rejected his plea.
Dickson, a former York University student, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder five days after Liu's body was found. He lived in the same boarding house as Liu, who arrived in Toronto in September 2010.
Her killing sent shock waves through the school campus and captured international attention.