Luka Magnotta withdraws appeal of 1st-degree murder conviction

Luka Magnotta has withdrawn the appeal of his conviction in the first-degree murder of Montreal engineering student Jun Lin, a day after the impending move was reported by CBC News.

Lawyer Luc Leclair had sought to appeal sentence handed down in Montreal in death of Jun Lin

Luka Magnotta has withdrawn an appeal of his first-degree murder conviction. He made a video appearance in a Montreal court Wednesday morning. (Canadian Press)

Luka Magnotta has withdrawn the appeal of his conviction in the first-degree murder of Montreal engineering student Jun Lin, a day after the impending move was reported by CBC News.

Magnotta appeared before the Quebec Court of Appeal via video conference from jail on Wednesday.

A judge asked him if he was dropping his appeal voluntarily, and Magnotta replied that he was.

The withdrawal of the appeal comes a day after CBC News reported that the killer planned to abandon the appeal. 

In December, a jury found the 32-year-old guilty of the 2012 first-degree murder of Lin, a Chinese national who was studying engineering in Montreal. 

Magnotta was also found guilty of:

  • Committing an indignity to a body.
  • Publishing obscene material.
  • Mailing obscene material.
  • Criminal harassment.

Magnotta admitted to committing the acts, but his lawyer Luc Leclair argued he should have been found not criminally responsible because of mental health issues.

Leclair had filed two appeals in January seeking a new trial.

Both were dropped on Wednesday.

One appeal cited judicial errors, and another was seeking leave to appeal on a number of other issues.

Jun Lin's family 'rebuilding lives'

Daniel Urbas, the lawyer representing Lin's family, said the victim's mother, sister and father were notified through a translator in China that the appeal had been dropped.

"They're going to be proceeding now, rebuilding their lives with the money that's been collected and will continue to be collected on their behalf," he said.

More than $70,000 has been donated to the family to help with some of the costs incurred in the wake of Lin's murder, including their travels to Canada for the court proceedings.

Urbas said Lin’s father, Lin Diran, remains steadfast in his desire to hear an apology from his son’s killer.

"He wants to hear something — some kind of response, remorse from the killer of his son — and he would like to learn more about what happened that night and how it came to happen," Urbas told reporters outside the Montreal courthouse. 

Leclair said Magnotta is open to meeting with Lin Diran.

"Mr. Lin's father's lawyer and I were talking about it, about whether the two of them can meet and talk, but while the appeal was going on that could not happen," he said.

"I could not advise him to go ahead with this, but now that's over … he does want to talk to him."

Magnotta did not testify in his own defence during the lengthy trial, nor did he address the court during his sentencing hearing. 

The first-degree murder charge carries a sentence of life imprisonment with no chance of parole for 25 years.

Luc Leclair says his client Luka Magnotta would like to meet the father of the man he killed, Jun Lin. Magnotta withdrew the appeals of his first-degree murder conviction. 2:02

With files from The Canadian Press