February 18, 2015 / 7:08 PM / 5 years ago

'Overwhelming' evidence ends appeal in Canadian killing, dismemberment

MONTREAL (Reuters) - The Canadian male escort found guilty in December of killing and dismembering a Chinese student dropped his appeal bid because of the overwhelming evidence against him and his reluctance to put his life on public display again, his lawyer said on Wednesday.

An artist's sketch shows Luka Rocco Magnotta, appearing in court for his preliminary hearing in Montreal, March 12, 2013. REUTERS/Atalante/Files

Luka Magnotta, 32, has also expressed an interest in meeting with the father of his victim, his lawyer Luc Leclair told reporters after a hearing at the Quebec Court of Appeal.

Magnotta, dressed in a long white T-shirt and dark pants, appeared via video conference at the hearing where his lawyer filed a motion to abandon the appeal.

He answered “yes” when asked by the judge if he was aware of the consequences in abandoning the appeal, and said he did not want to reconsider his decision.

“Facing 12 jurors again, facing the reporters, facing the same evidence over having his whole life put out. It’s not a pleasant experience. And yes, I have to say the Crown’s evidence is very strong - you could say overwhelming - that was always there,” Leclair told reporters after the hearing.

Magnotta was found guilty in December of the death of Jun Lin, 33, after eight days of jury deliberation, and is serving a life sentence without possibility of parole for 25 years.

The former porn actor was also convicted on charges including committing an indignity to a human body, publishing and mailing obscene material as well as criminally harassing the Canadian prime minister and other lawmakers.

Magnotta had admitted to killing and dismembering Lin but pleaded not guilty on grounds of mental illness.

The case gripped Canada in the spring of 2012 after Lin’s body parts were found in the trash behind a Montreal apartment building and in packages mailed to political parties in Ottawa and to schools in Vancouver.

Leclair said that Magnotta is open to meeting Diran Lin, the father of his victim, who came to Canada from China for the trial. Leclair said Magnotta is remorseful and would meet “in the spirit of truth and reconciliation.”

He acknowledged such a meeting is unusual “but Mr. Magnotta is not the usual kind of person.”

Diran Lin’s lawyer, Daniel Urbas, said he is open to a meeting, but would not comment on the extent of discussions to set one up. Diran Lin has said he would like an apology from Magnotta and has questions for the killer.

Writing by Andrea Hopkins; Editing by Grant McCool

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