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Luka Rocco Magnotta Appeals First-Degree Murder Conviction, Other Guilty Verdicts

01/19/2015 03:28 EST | Updated 01/19/2015 04:59 EST
Luka Magnotta
MONTREAL - Luka Rocco Magnotta is appealing his conviction in the first-degree murder of Jun Lin and wants a new trial.

Documents made public by the Quebec Court of Appeal on Monday outline several reasons for Magnotta's attempt to have the five convictions annulled, including the one for killing Lin.

The appeal centres primarily on a number of instances in which the defence suggests the judge erred in the case.

After a lengthy trial, jurors deliberated for eight days before finding Magnotta guilty on Dec. 23 of premeditated murder and four other charges in Lin's slaying in May 2012.

The first-degree murder conviction carried a sentence of life imprisonment with no chance of parole for 25 years.

Magnotta, 32, was also given the maximum sentences on the four other charges.

The documents filed by Toronto-based lawyer Luc Leclair state Quebec Superior Court Justice Guy Cournoyer erred in a number of instances.

"The verdicts are unreasonable and unsupported by the evidence and the instructions," one of two motions filed by Leclair read.

One motion is a direct appeal of the convictions based on questions of law and could take many months to be heard.

In the second, Magnotta is seeking leave to appeal on questions of "mixed fact and law" which will require the authorization of the province's highest court to go forward.

The appeal documents were dated last Thursday and include a notice that a hearing will take place in Montreal on Feb. 18.

Leclair denied to comment further when reached by telephone.

Magnotta admitted to killing and dismembering Lin but was seeking to be found not criminally responsible by way of mental disorder.

Psychiatrists who testified for the defence said he was in a psychotic state the night of the killing and couldn't tell right from wrong.

The Crown countered the crime was planned and deliberate and that Magnotta's behaviour and actions were incompatible with those of someone supposedly suffering from a disease of the mind.

The jury heard testimony about the gruesome details of Lin's death and that many of Magnotta's actions were caught on surveillance video or in images taken by the accused himself.

They also heard about Magnotta's upbringing and delved into medical files that showed he was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2001.

In the roughly 48 hours following the slaying, Magnotta cut up Lin's body into 10 pieces, mailing the hands and feet to political offices in Ottawa and primary schools in Vancouver. He also bought a plane ticket for Paris online.

When police put out a warrant for his arrest, Magnotta emptied his bank accounts and fled to Berlin on the same day.

He was ultimately arrested in an Internet cafe in the German city on June 4, 2012, where a witness said Magnotta was reading up on himself.

He was eventually transferred to a Berlin prison hospital, where a psychiatrist's initial diagnosis was that he was psychotic.

The other charges Magnotta was convicted of were 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.

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