British Columbia

Defence lawyers in court to appeal Cody Legebokoff's 1st-degree murder convictions

A man known as one of Canada's youngest serial killers is appealing his conviction of first degree murder in the deaths of four women around Prince George, B.C.

Families of the victims will be in court

Cody Alan Legebokoff is shown in a B.C. RCMP handout photo. The young B.C. man was convicted of killing three women and a 15-year-old girl. (RCMP/Canadian Press)

Lawyers for a man known as one of Canada's youngest serial killers are in court today arguing for the appeal of his first-degree murder convictions.

Cody Legebokoff was convicted of four counts of first-degree murder in September 2014 for the deaths of Loren Donn Leslie, Jill Stacey Stuchenko, Cynthia Frances Maas and Natasha Lynn Montgomery, who died in 2009 and 2010 near Prince George, B.C.

He was sentenced to life in prison with no parole for 25 years.

When the appeal was filed in February 2015, defence lawyer Eric Gottardi said he was focusing on his client's failed attempt to change the location of the trial, which took place in Prince George.

Legebokoff applied to move the trial to Vancouver, but B.C. Supreme Court Judge Glen Parrett rejected the request at the time.

Arguments will be heard before three court judges this morning at the B.C. Court of Appeal. 

In September 2014, a jury found Cody Legebokoff guilty of first-degree murder in the slayings of (left to right) Jill Stuchenko, 35, Cynthia Maas, 35, Natasha Montgomery, 23, and Loren Leslie, 15. (CBC)

'No justice for the victims'

The 26-year-old convicted killer won't be in the courtroom, but some of the families of the victims will be there.

Doug Leslie, the father of Loren Leslie, says he doesn't think the appeal should be granted.

"Absolutely not! That's the area where he did the crime, so that's the area he should be tried in," he said. "With the heinousness of the crime and the DNA, it wouldn't matter where it was — it would turn out the same." 

Doug Leslie outside the courthouse when Cody Legebokoff was convicted in 2014. (CBC)

Loren Leslie was the youngest of the four victims at just 15 years old. Police cracked the case shortly after the teen was found dead on a remote logging road just off of Highway 27 near Vanderhoof, B.C., in November 2010.

When he speaks about his daughter, there's still so much pain in Doug Leslie's voice. 

"God, there's too much to tell," he said. "Well, she's gone and there's nothing I can do about that."

Leslie says he feels it's important to show up in person to the appeal. 

"I feel it's very important for us as family to be there to show concern for our justice system," he said. "We are family of the victims, and there is no justice for the victims."

With files from Deborah Goble