09/25/2014 06:58 EDT | Updated 11/25/2014 05:59 EST

B.C. court reveals reasons why it refused to move serial-murder trial

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. - A public opinion poll failed to sway a B.C. Supreme Court judge to move a high-profile serial murder trial from Prince George to Vancouver.

The decision against the change of venue for the trial of Cody Legebokoff was made in December 2012, but a publication ban was only lifted recently after he was convicted of four counts of first-degree murder.

During the hearing, Legebokoff's lawyer, James Heller, claimed extensive media coverage and some of the pre-trial publicity had connected Legebokoff to the murders or disappearances of women on the so-called Highway of Tears between Prince George and Prince Rupert.

The defence paid for a public opinion poll which it said raised a spectre of bias, but Justice Glen Parrett said the survey offered little in deciding if the court venue should be changed.

Parrett refused to grant the move and said a fair trial before an impartial jury could take place in Prince George.

Legebokoff was convicted by a jury earlier this month and sentenced to life in prison for the murders of Cynthia Maas, Jill Stuchenko, Natasha Montgomery and Loren Leslie.