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Luka Magnotta Trial Hears Psychiatrist Say Accused Has A Selective Memory

11/19/2014 01:28 EST | Updated 01/19/2015 05:59 EST

MONTREAL - A psychiatrist who assessed Luka Rocco Magnotta for criminal responsibility says he questioned him about alleged online postings promoting the video of Jun Lin's death ahead of the slaying.

Dr. Joel Watts told Magnotta's first-degree murder trial Wednesday the accused said he didn't remember posting anything along those lines.

"I have been trying to make sense of it, I hope it was not me, I don’t remember doing it, it feels weird," Watts quoted Magnotta as saying.

The response was noted in the forensic psychiatrist's 124-page report on Magnotta, who met with Watts primarily between September 2012 and 2013.

Watts told prosecutor Louis Bouthillier he couldn't recall where he heard the promotion allegations or whether it is part of the evidence filed in the case.

Magnotta, a native of Scarborough, Ont., has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in Lin's slaying and dismemberment in May 2012. He entered a similar plea on four other charges.

He admits having caused the death of the Chinese engineering student, but is arguing in favour of a mental disorder defence.

Watts and another psychiatrist have testified for the defence that Magnotta was psychotic the night of the killing and was incapable of telling right from wrong.

The Crown is arguing the crimes were planned and deliberate.

Watts said he believes Magnotta has a selective memory, in part to avoid having to think about the traumatic memories surrounding the slaying of Lin, who was last seen alive entering Magnotta's apartment the night of May 24, 2012.

"When he says he can't remember, I think that he would be able to remember if he put a little bit of effort into doing it," he testified.

"At the same time, I recognize one of the reasons for his memory loss is that he voluntarily doesn't want to access those memories because of what they represent and the distress they will cause him."

Watts warned the memory lapses of the events between May 24 and 26, 2012, should not be taken to conclude that Magnotta was malingering — a term used to describe exaggerating or faking psychotic symptoms.

The Crown has suggested that Magnotta was faking in order to avoid the charges he's facing. Watts himself initially thought Magnotta was putting on a show before learning about his lengthy psychiatric history and battles with paranoid schizophrenia.

"Not being able to remember doesn't mean that someone is malingering," Watts said, adding it's common in an event like the one in which the accused was involved.

"They're simply stating that they can't remember what happened."

In one memory block, Magnotta was unable to say if he was the one who chose the title ("One Lunatic, One Ice Pick") attached to the video of Lin's dismemberment. He did admit to frequenting gore websites

"I don't remember doing it, I don't know what the hell is wrong with me," he told the forensic psychiatrist.

"Maybe I’ve been watching too many movies, maybe it was to scare people. I don’t know if I even did it (post the video)."

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