British Columbia

Cody Legebokoff trial: jury deliberating

The jury in the Cody Legebokoff trial has begun deliberating.

Prince George man charged with 1st-degree murder of 3 women, 1 girl

Cody Legebokoff is on trial in Prince George, B.C., for the first-degree murder of three women and one girl. (CBC)

The jury in the Cody Legebokoff trial has begun its deliberations after Justice Glenn Parrett concluded his instructions Wednesday.

On Monday, prosecutors rejected last-minute guilty pleas by Legebokoff to four second-degree murder charges, at the first-degree murder trial of the alleged multiple killer in Prince George, B.C.

Legebokoff''s lawyer submitted the guilty pleas in the morning, but they were a formality because his lawyer had already argued during closing arguments last week that his client was guilty of second-degree murder.

Legebokoff stood as the registrar repeated the original four charges of first-degree murder.

Legebokoff replied, "Not guilty, and I plead guilty to second-degree murder," to each of the four charges.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Glen Parrett then asked the prosecutor if the pleas were accepted by the Crown.

The prosecutor responded, "My lord, the Crown does not consent."

That meant the original pleas of not guilty to four charges of first-degree murder stand, and the trial continues today with the charge to the jury.

Charged in deaths of 3 women, 1 girl

Legebokoff is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Jill Stacey Stuchenko, 35, Cynthia Frances Maas, 35, Natasha Lynn Montgomery, 23, and Loren Leslie, 15.

The guilty plea is the latest twist in the trial by jury. Last month Legebokoff testified that he was present at the deaths of all of the women, but denied killing them.

Legebokoff told the court that he was with Leslie when she died. He testified to hitting her, but claimed he did so only after she injured herself.

He told the jury other men, whom he could not name, killed Stuchenko, Maas and Montgomery.