Ex-porn actor in Canada found guilty in Chinese student’s murder, dismemberment

Canadian Luke Magnotta on Tuesday was found guilty of first-degree murder in the dismemberment of a Chinese student in 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Canadian Luke Magnotta on Tuesday was found guilty of first-degree murder in the dismemberment of a Chinese student in 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A file photo shows Luke Magnotta (centre) being escorted by police upon arrival from Germany on June 18, 2012 at Mirabel Airport in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada. -- PHOTO: AFP
A file photo shows Luke Magnotta (centre) being escorted by police upon arrival from Germany on June 18, 2012 at Mirabel Airport in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada. -- PHOTO: AFP

TORONTO (AFP) - A jury in Montreal found a one-time porn actor guilty Tuesday in the murder of a Chinese engineering student with a screwdriver before sexually abusing him and dismembering his corpse.

Luka Rocco Magnotta, 32, closed his eyes and showed no emotion as the verdict – which carries an automatic life sentence with no parole for 25 years – was read out in Quebec Superior Court.

Magnotta had admitted to killing 33-year-old Lin Jun in May 2012, but pleaded not guilty to first degree murder, in one of the most sensational homicide cases in the annals of Canadian justice.

The jury of eight women and four men delivered its unanimous decision after eight days of deliberations. The trial started in September.

“We had faith that the proof presented during the trial would be successful in convincing the jury,” prosecutor Louis Bouthillier told reporters.

Justice Guy Cournoyer said last week that Magnotta’s personality disorder qualified as a mental illness in Canadian law.

But Bouthillier argued the accused was able to discern right from wrong and had planned the brutal killing.

He said Magnotta – who appeared in gay adult videos a decade ago – prepared the murder at least six months in advance and had acted with premeditation before, during and after the crime.

STABBED WITH SCREWDRIVER

Magnotta had acknowledged using a screwdriver to fatally stab Lin, a student at Montreal’s Concordia University, before sexually abusing and dismembering his victim’s corpse.

He then posted a video of the heinous act online to the soundtrack of the movie American Psycho.

Days after the killing, Montreal police discovered Lin’s torso in a suitcase by the trash outside an apartment building on a busy highway.

His severed hands and feet were sent in the mail to federal political parties in Ottawa and to two elementary schools in Vancouver.

Lin’s head was found in a Montreal park months later, after police got a tip via a three-page fax that contained precise directions.

For his part, Magnotta cleaned out his Montreal apartment and fled to Paris and Berlin, where he was arrested in June 2012 as the case became an international sensation.

Surveillance video figured prominently in his trial, enabling jurors to retrace his steps from his Montreal apartment to a Paris hotel lobby.

Present in the courtroom Tuesday for the verdict was Lin’s father Lin Diran.

“I had come to see your trial system to see justice done and I leave satisfied that you have not let my son down,” he said in a statement.

'NO COMPLETE ANSWER'

“I had come to learn what happened to my son that night and I leave without a true or a complete answer,” he added.

“I had come to see remorse, to hear some form of apology, and I leave without anything.” Magnotta’s lawyers, who contended their client was not criminally responsible due to mental illness, have 30 days in which to file an appeal.

Besides the murder, Magnotta was charged – and convicted – of committing an indignity to a body, spreading obscene material on the Internet, sending body parts through the mail and harassing the prime minister of Canada.