Killer in dismemberment case that shocked Canada drops appeal

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TORONTO — A Canadian man dropped his appeal Wednesday of a life sentence for killing and dismembering his Chinese lover and mailing his body parts to schools and political parties.

Luka Rocco Magnotta's lawyer called the prosecution's case overwhelmingly strong and said Magnotta didn't want to go through it again.

"Facing 12 jurors again, facing the reporters, facing the same evidence over, having his whole life put out, it's not a pleasant experience," attorney Luc Leclair told reporters in Montreal.

Magnotta, 32, was sentenced to life in prison last December in the slaying and dismemberment of Jun Lin, a 33-year-old Chinese engineering student who had been living in Canada since 2011.

The gruesome case gained international notoriety in May 2012 after a package containing a severed foot was found at the headquarters of Canada's ruling Conservative Party. That same day, a hand was discovered at a postal facility, in a package addressed to the Liberal Party of Canada.

Lin's torso was found in a suitcase at a garbage dump outside Magnotta's apartment building in Montreal. About a week later, the missing foot and hand were found mailed to two schools in Vancouver.

Magnotta eventually was arrested in Berlin after an international manhunt.

He admitted to killing and dismembering Lin but was seeking to be found not criminally responsible by way of mental disorder. His lawyer argued he is schizophrenic and couldn't tell right from wrong at the time of the slaying. The prosecution countered the crime was both planned and deliberate.

Magnotta formally withdrew his appeal Wednesday as he appeared before the Quebec Court of Appeal by video conference from jail.

He told the judge that he didn't need more time to consider his decision.

"I had the opportunity to reflect on that," Magnotta said.

Daniel Urbas, a lawyer for Lin's father, Diran, said the family was relieved there won't be an appeal. Urbas said the father wants to meet with Magnotta and hear him apologize: "He wants to hear some kind of remorse from the killer of his son and he would like to learn more about what happened that night."

Magnotta's lawyer said Magnotta is willing to meet. "It's more in the spirit of truth and reconciliation," Leclair said.

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