Magnotta trial hears psychiatrist unable to track down accused’s acquaintances

A psychiatrist who assessed Luka Rocco Magnotta for criminal responsibility says he wasn’t able to interview two people the accused said had a major presence in his life.

MONTREAL — A psychiatrist who assessed Luka Rocco Magnotta for criminal responsibility says he wasn’t able to interview two people the accused said had a major presence in his life.

Dr. Joel Watts told Magnotta’s murder trial today he would have liked to speak to both individuals but was unable to get any information on how to track them down.

Magnotta has pleaded not guilty to the slaying and dismemberment of Chinese engineering student Jun Lin in May 2012. He admits having caused Lin’s death, but Watts and another psychiatrist have testified he was in a psychotic case and was incapable of telling right from wrong the night of the killing.

One of the people Magnotta described to Watts was a woman named Rebecca for whom he housed a python that was central to an infamous online video that showed cats getting killed.

The second person he talked about frequently was a man named Manny, an American Magnotta says he met in 2010 and who allegedly treated him violently.

Watts says it remains unclear if either of these people actually exists.

In addition to first-degree murder, Magnotta is also charged with 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 Crown is arguing the crimes were planned and deliberate.

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