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Luka Magnotta asked whether he promoted video showing parts of killing

11/19/2014 04:33 EST | Updated 01/19/2015 05:59 EST
The psychiatrist hired by the defence to examine LukaMagnotta's criminal responsibility asked the accused about online postings that appeared on the internet "in the weeks prior to the killing, allegedly promoting the video of [Jun] Lin’s death," the psychiatrist testified Wednesday.

In response, Magnotta told the forensic psychiatrist: “I have been trying to make sense of it, I hope it was not me, I don’t remember doing it, it feels weird.”

Magnotta has pleaded not guilty to charges including first-degree murder, but has admitted to the physical acts.

The Crown alleges Lin’s killing was premeditated.

Dr. Joel Watts, in his fourth day of testimony, could not recall where he had heard about the postings, nor whether they were presented as evidence in court, but he testified that he thought it was important enough to ask the patient about it.

“Anything having to do with an individual planning ahead of time a certain behaviour is pertinent, that’s why I asked,” he testified.

The remarks are included in Watts’ 124-page report that concludes Magnotta is not criminally responsible for the five charges against him, including killing Jun Lin and committing an indignity to his body, because he was in an acute psychotic state at the time.

Watts, who had access to evidence, medical records and interviews with those close to Magnotta in drafting his report, is the second psychiatrist hired by the defence to come to that conclusion.

Magnotta visited gore websites

Magnotta also admitted to the psychiatrist that he frequented horror or gore websites, but he said he could not remember choosing the title of the online video showing parts of the Lin killing.

“I don’t remember doing it, I don’t know what the hell is wrong with me,” Magnotta told Watts in response to whether he had chosen the title “1 Lunatic, 1 Ice Pick.”

“Maybe I’ve been watching too many movies, maybe it was to scare people, I don’t know if I even did it,” Magnotta added, saying he didn’t know if he used the pseudonym Alan Ford to post the graphic video, but acknowledged that "it was possible."

Magnotta said he first came across gore websites while living in New York City in the late 2000s, and started frequenting the sites because they were “weird and different." He specified he was not sexually aroused by seeing people get hurt.

‘Atypical’ memory loss

In his third day cross-examining the witness, Crown prosecutor Louis Bouthillier also focused on the statement in the report that Magnotta’s degree of memory loss “seemed atypical.”

Watts explained he used the term, particularly in reference to how Magnotta remembered his time in Europe, because he had originally thought it would be possible for the accused to recall more details.

The psychiatrist told the court he believes parts of Magnotta’s memory loss is voluntary, to avoid the stress and anxiety of remembering the traumatic events surrounding Lin’s killing.

“The world was coming down on me, I closed up,” Magnotta told Watts, who added the accused likely wanted to avoid feeling more shame and remorse over what he had done.

The Crown also focused on one of the last meetings Watts had with Magnotta, in which the accused addressed a visit he made to a psychiatrist at Montreal’s Jewish General Hospital a month before Lin’s death.

Magnotta referred to that visit as “the only thing” he hadn’t told Watts, a statement the psychiatrist said is technically accurate.

Watts testified Magnotta would at times withhold information but would then reveal more at their following meeting.

The psychiatrist explained he understood Magnotta had not wanted to talk about that hospital visit because in April 2012, he had downplayed hearing voices and instead told the doctor he was taking drugs.

Watts said Magnotta did not want him to think he was a drug addict.

The witness also specified as a forensic psychiatrist, his job is to inquire to get all the information possible but it’s not his role to investigate.

When information is missing, Watts told the court he has to work with the details he has in front of him.

The trial resumes at 10:30 a.m. ET on Thursday when the judge will answer several questions from the jury.

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