Luka Rocco Magnotta withdraws appeal of first-degree murder conviction

Luka Rocco Magnotta formally withdrew his appeal of a conviction in the first-degree murder of Jun Lin, deciding ultimately that he didn’t want to go through a possible second trial.

MONTREAL — Luka Rocco Magnotta formally withdrew his appeal of a conviction in the first-degree murder of Jun Lin, deciding ultimately that he didn’t want to go through a possible second trial.

Magnotta appeared before the Quebec Court of Appeal by video conference from jail on Wednesday, where a judge asked him if he was abandoning his appeal voluntarily.

Magnotta replied that he was and didn’t need more time to consider his decision.

“I had the opportunity to reflect on that,” Magnotta told the judge.

Magnotta was found guilty of first-degree murder last December in the May 2012 slaying and dismemberment of Lin, a Chinese engineering student.

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

The jury deliberated for eight days before returning five guilty verdicts.

The dropping of the appeal could facilitate a meeting between Lin’s father, Diran Lin, and Magnotta.

A Montreal lawyer who represents Jun Lin’s family said they’d be open to a meeting with Magnotta with the appeal issue out of the way.

Daniel Urbas said Lin’s father, Diran Lin, wants Magnotta to clear up many unanswered questions he has about his son’s death.

“He wants to hear something, some kind of response, remorse from the killer of his son and he would like to learn more about what happened that night,” Urbas said.

Magnotta’s Toronto-based lawyer, Luc Leclair, said Magnotta too would be open to a meeting with Diran Lin.

Leclair had filed two appeals in January, seeking a new trial for his client.

The lawyer said Magnotta considered what a new trial would entail, recognizing that the Crown’s evidence was strong.

“It was his decision,” Leclair told reporters.

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

The Crown had 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.

Prosecutor Louis Bouthillier told reporters Wednesday the decision marks a formal end to the case.

“It’s the end of the process, the appeal process is now terminated,” he said.

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