Magnotta trial enters eighth week


MONTREAL – The judge at Luka Rocco Magnotta’s first-degree murder trial says he hopes the jury will be sequestered and deliberating in the first week of December.

Quebec Superior Court Justice Guy Cournoyer told the jurors today he wants to deliver his final instructions to them that week.

The trial began its eighth week today with more testimony from psychiatrist Dr. Joel Watts, who was hired by Magnotta’s attorney to assess the accused’s criminal responsibility.

Magnotta has pleaded not guilty to the slaying and dismemberment of Chinese engineering student Jun Lin in May 2012.

The accused admits having caused Lin’s death, but Watts and another psychiatrist have testified Magnotta was in a psychotic state linked to his long-standing schizophrenia and was incapable of telling right from wrong the night of the killing.

The Crown argues the crimes were planned and deliberate.

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 bilingual jury currently consists of 14 people — six men and eight women. Twelve will be involved in determining the final verdict.