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Luka Magnotta invented tale he told psychiatrist, Crown suggests

11/12/2014 03:57 EST | Updated 01/12/2015 05:59 EST
A Crown prosecutor spent the morning grilling a psychiatrist who evaluated Luka Magnotta’s criminal responsibility, poking holes in the accused’s version of what happened the night he killed 33-year old Jun Lin.

Magnotta, on trial for murder in Lin's death, has acknowledged in his defence that he committed the acts that killed the Montreal university student, but says he was not criminally responsible due to mental illness.

Crown prosecutor Louis Bouthillier asked psychiatrist Marie-FrédériqueAllard on Wednesday if it was possible that Magnotta had lied to her, and even suggested Magnotta was a "pathological liar" who had no issues with lying.

Allard responded that she was largely satisfied with the answers she obtained, although she said it’s always difficult to get the full story from some patients — something she said psychiatrists learn to live with.

The prosecutor then pointed to a psychiatric assessment at the Jewish General hospital in April 2012, a visit that Allard had testified about during questions from the defence, saying Magnotta lied to the doctor about his symptoms to avoid being hospitalized.

"He was ready to lie then to avoid hospitalization. Wouldn’t he be ready to do the same thing to avoid going to prison?" Bouthillier asked.

Allard said her main preoccupation was to evaluate whether Magnotta was faking it, and she determined he was suffering from a psychosis brought on by his paranoid schizophrenia. 

When the prosecutor proposed that Magnotta invented his story as he went along, giving a different version to different psychiatrists, Allard responded that Magnotta’s illness and the trauma of the crime could have caused lapses in his memory.

The Crown underlined only Magnotta knows what happened that night, and pointed out that Allard was unable to interview anybody who spent time with the accused in the days leading up to the killing.

Prosecutor points out holes in Magnotta's story

Bouthillier threw rapid-fire questions at Allard, a sharp contrast to the long, drawn-out testimony the forensic psychiatrist delivered for the defence over the past few days.

The prosecutor highlighted what was left out of Magnotta’s version of events, including that the accused bought paint in the hours after killing Lin, and painted the suitcase to make it look old before placing the victim’s torso inside. 

"Is it possible [he did that] to make sure a passerby wouldn’t pick up the suitcase?" Bouthillier asked.

Allard responded she didn’t ask about that.

She did ask about the blows from a hammer observed on the victim’s face, but she didn’t get a response. She was no more successful when she pressed Magnotta about the victim’s reaction right before he was killed.

Bouthillier also grilled Allard on where Magnotta got the sleeping pills he said he and Lin took the night of the crime.

She said he told her they were left over from his last prescription in 2010. But the Crown pointed out that in 2011, Magnotta had attempted to get a renewal and was refused.

"His story doesn’t add up," the prosecutor concluded.

Psychiatrist: Impossible to impose logic

The prosecutor asked why Magnotta would have left his apartment in the middle of the night, if, as Allard’s report states, he believed a black car with government spies was waiting for him outside.

The psychiatrist responded that although it didn’t appear logical, it is impossible to impose logic on the actions of someone in a psychotic state, because their actions are not based in the same reality as others.

Allard testified she has performed more than 850 evaluations for the courts over the last 15 years — mainly for the defence.

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