Jury must decide whether 'Canadian Psycho' killer really 'insane'

Jury must decide whether 'Canadian Psycho' killer really 'insane'
Luka Rocco Magnotta is shown after his arrest in this June 4, 2012 handout photo provided by the Berlin police.

MONTREAL - A jury must decide whether to send "Canadian Psycho" killer Luka Magnotta to prison for life or to hospital indefinitely, after hearing final arguments in his trial Monday.

Magnotta has admitted to killing 33-year-old Chinese student Lin Jun.

But he has pleaded not guilty to first degree murder, committing indignities to a body, harassing Canada's prime minister and other charges.

His defence attorney said Magnotta, 32, was "insane" at the time, and requires psychiatric treatment, not jail.

Prosecutors, however, argued that it was all an act and that the killing was "planned and deliberate."

"He wanted to be famous or infamous," Crown lawyer Louis Bouthillier told the court. 

Quebec Superior Court Justice Guy Cournoyer at the end of the 11-week trial was expected Monday morning to instruct the jury to return a verdict of guilty or "not criminally responsible."

If Magnotta is found not guilty by reason of insanity, he would land in a psychiatric ward until doctors deemed him fit for release.

'A devil'

Magnotta has acknowledged using a screwdriver to fatally stab him in May 2012, before sexually abusing and dismembering the man's corpse, and then posting a video of the heinous act online.

Days after the killing, Montreal police discovered the victim's torso in a suitcase by the trash outside an apartment building along a busy highway.

Lin's severed hands and feet were sent in the mail to federal political parties in Ottawa and to two elementary schools in Vancouver. The head was found in a Montreal park months later.

Afterwards, Magnotta fled Canada, but was arrested in Germany in June 2012, following an international manhunt, and extradited. He was arrested in a Berlin Internet cafe, after stops in France and elsewhere in Germany.

Born Eric Clinton Newman, he changed his name to Magnotta in 2006 after years of using aliases such as Vladimir Romanov, or Angel.

The media dubbed him the "Canadian Psycho" after it was discovered that the soundtrack from the movie "American Psycho" was playing in the background of the video of the alleged murder that was posted online.

Lin's family has branded him "a devil."

Paranoid schizophrenia

During his trial, the prosecution said Magnotta planned the murder six months in advance, and rehearsed it days prior to Lin's death.

The Crown pointed to a December 2011 email to a British journalist investigating cat mutilations, in which Magnotta purportedly said he wanted to videotape the slaughter of a human.

"Next time you hear from me it will be in a movie I am producing that will have some humans in it, not just pussies," read the email sent to reporter Alex West.

"Once you kill and taste blood, it's impossible to stop," the email continued.

The defence stressed that Magnotta was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, as well as borderline personality disorder -- which is not a mental illness.

He was treated for the condition in 2005 when he was convicted of fraud.

He was prescribed antipsychotic medications, as well as drugs to reduce anxiety, but apparently did not always take his medication.

Without the drugs, "he would be prone to relapse of his symptoms, which include paranoia, auditory hallucinations, fear of the unknown, etc," a psychiatrist told an Ontario court in June 2005.

Prosecution witnesses, however, suggested that Magnotta was faking the symptoms, that his initial schizophrenia diagnosis had been flawed and that subsequent doctors simply went along with it.

Magnotta did not testify.

But he told doctors that he slit Lin's throat because he believed Lin was a government agent sent to kill him.

He also said he heard voices in his head.

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