Luka Magnotta murder trial moves to 2nd stage of jury selection

The first wave of screenings for potential jurors in the Luka Magnotta murder trial wrapped up Thursday.

More than 1,600 candidates were screened, hundreds exempted from jury duty

Luka Magnotta was arrested in June 2012, one month after the death of Concordia University student Jun Lin. (CBC)

The first wave of screenings for potential jurors in the LukaMagnotta murder trial wrapped up Thursday.

Magnotta faces five charges, including first degree murder of 33-year-old Concordia University student Jun Lin. Other charges include indignity to Lin's human remains, publication of obscene material, mailing obscene material and criminal harassment of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and members of Parliament.

About 1,600 people called in to jury duty went through initial evaluations of eligibility this week.

Justice Guy Cournoyer immediately exempted those over the age of 65, as well as anyone deemed not bilingual enough.

Magnotta has requested an English trial, but evidence will be presented in both English and French.

Exemptions granted

During their screenings, candidates told Justice Cournoyer why they felt they should not serve on the jury — presenting health issues, religious beliefs or caregiver responsibilities as reasons they would be unable to take part in the trial.

Potential jurors were warned some of the evidence presented could be graphic and/or obscene, and many claimed they were simply not able to stomach this type of case.

Students with a full load of courses were given exemptions, and those with criminal records were deemed ineligible.

Some candidates requested exemptions stating that they had already formed an opinion about Magnotta’s guilt or innocence.

The case generated international attention and details of the case were widely publicized.

Lawyers will now go through the list of those still admissible and select 200 candidates, who will go through a more thorough evaluation process next week.

Fourteen jurors will be selected, though only 12 will sit on the jury.