WATCH: Anxious, ill and breathing arduously, Luka Magnotta told forensic psychiatrist Dr. Marie-Frédérique Allard his version of the night he killed 33-year-old Jun Lin. Domenic Fazioli reports.
WARNING: Story contains graphic details; discretion is advised.
MONTREAL — Anxious, ill and breathing arduously, Luka Magnotta recounted for the first time earlier this year his version of the fateful night in late May 2012 when he killed 33-year-old Jun Lin.
Having long lived with a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, Magnotta on that night became convinced Lin was a government agent who would kill him, Magnotta told forensic psychiatrist Dr. Marie-Frédérique Allard during a Jan. 17, 2014 meeting at a detention centre.
Recalling the night, Magnotta said Lin had responded on May 23 to a Craigslist ad Magnotta posted expressing the desire for a sexual encounter involving bondage.
The two met, for the first time, at a metro station the following day and went to Magnotta’s dingy bachelor apartment. Once there, they relaxed, drank some wine, talked and then had sex.
Magnotta was the first to be tied to the bed, he told Allard.
He was tied face down on the mattress, while Lin straddled him. Magnotta said he had to ask Lin to slow down because he was feeling uncomfortable and experiencing pain.
“So Mr. Magnotta asked Jun Lin to stop. ‘I need a brake (sic),’” the report reads.
Feeling increasingly anxious, Magnotta dissolved a tablet of the sleeping aid Temazepam in his own glass of wine.
Lin then asked for some, so Magnotta took out another “two or three” tablets.
A toxicology report entered into evidence last month revealed the drug in Lin’s system post-mortem.
“At that moment, Mr. Magnotta reported getting up and going to the window, where he saw a black car outside,” Allard wrote.
“He then began to think Jun Lin was a government agent who came to hurt him.”
Allard’s report then noted Magnotta’s comportment — visibly “very ill,” anxious and having difficulty breathing.
Magnotta’s account continued: he started hearing voices telling him to tie up Lin. “And they said cut it,” he told Allard.
The voices in his head were talking and laughing. He was convinced Lin was sent to kill him.
Magnotta then admitted for the first time to killing Lin. He told Allard he cut the 33-year-old man’s throat.
At that point in the meeting, Magnotta asked Allard to end the session, and they did.
“He appeared very anxious, his forehead was beaded with sweat and his breathing labored,” Allard wrote.
All told, Allard examined Magnotta for about 25 hours spread over eight days beginning in December 2013.
Magnotta’s defence counsel Luc Leclair hired Allard to assess Magnotta’s criminal responsibility int he crimes for which he is accused. She had access to the video the defendant posted online depicting Lin’s dismemberment, read his lengthy medical files dating back to 2001, and went through extensive witness testimony.
Allard began her chief testimony last week when she told the court Magnotta is schizophrenic, the illness was present the night he killed Lin and it is responsible for the crimes that led to the charges Magnotta now faces.
Magnotta is on trial for five charges including first-degree murder, committing an indignity to a human body, publishing obscene material, criminally harassing Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other members of Parliament and mailing obscene and indecent material.
In the opening minutes of the trial back in September, Leclair told the 14-member jury his client had admitted to the “physical parts” of the crimes but was maintaining a plea of not guilty on account of suffering a severe mental illness.
Leclair has been calling witnesses for five days in his bid to convince the jury Magnotta was so psychologically sick during the last week of May 2012 he couldn’t grasp the severity and consequences of his actions.
The Crown, which rested its case Oct. 31, has said the crimes were intentional, deliberate and pre-meditated. As such, Magnotta should be held criminally responsible, Crown prosecutor Louis Bouthillier has argued.
Through the trial’s first month, Bouthillier called dozens of witnesses, presented gory video and photographic evidence, and a detailed autopsy report.
Some videos and photos showed Magnotta stabbing his victim, slicing Lin’s body parts and arranging them in a bathtub and a fridge.
Surveillance tapes depicted Magnotta wearing his victim’s t-shirt and ball cap in the hours and days following the killing, stopping to check himself out in the large mirrors covering two walls in the lobby of the building where he was renting an apartment.
Those same tapes offered a timeline of Magnotta’s actions following the slaying — disposing dozens of full garbage bags, running errands, acquiring a large suitcase equipped with wheels.
Computer data indicated Magnotta purchased a return flight to Paris for May 26, two days after the surveillance tapes captured some of the last images of Lin alive.
Witness testimony revealed Magnotta began operating under a false name after fleeing to Europe, where he was eventually apprehended June 4, 2012.
Bouthillier last week suggested Magnotta was putting on an act in an effort to receive a diagnosis of schizophrenia. This came while cross-examining the Dr. Thomas Barth, the psychiatrist who saw Magnotta while he was detained in a Berlin prison.
Barth, who saw Magnotta for roughly one week, said he was certain Magnotta suffered schizophrenia, and although some people can fake symptoms for some time, doing so is not sustainable.
Allard on Monday agreed, telling the court that volumes of medical records paint Magnotta as a classic schizophrenic.
During Allard’s chief testimony, she told the court she believed Magnotta’s perception of reality was skewed in May 2012; Although he knew what he was doing when he killed Lin, he didn’t have the capacity to distinguish between right and wrong.
For hours on Monday, Allard walked the jury through Magnotta’s medical history, one peppered with hospitalizations, stays in a group home, periods of paranoia, hearing voices and psychosis, and diagnoses of paranoid schizophrenia. Reports and notes from several doctors indicate Magnotta was often anxious, fearing he was being followed or recorded, that people were reading his thoughts or implanting thoughts.
The records also indicate Magnotta was not always vigilant with his medications, which he had been told were crucial to his health and wellbeing, and was no longer being followed by a psychiatrist as of July 2010.
Magnotta told Allard during their first meeting he moved to Montreal in February 2011 because he wasn’t feeling comfortable in Toronto.
He had stopped taking his medication the summer before moving to Montreal. He was convinced people online were following and making fun of him, and was under government watch.
“At first, once he moved (to Montreal), he was feeling better, but the condition then deteriorated,” Allard wrote.
In April 2012, weeks before Lin’s life came to an abrupt and violent end, Magnotta was referred to a psychiatrist at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal after telling doctors at a walk-in he was hearing voices.
Magnotta told Allard he mentioned a bi-polar diagnosis to the psychiatrist but didn’t mention he was hearing voices or had ever been diagnosed as schizophrenic for fear he’d be hospitalized.
He didn’t receive any medication or a follow-up from that appointment. The doctor’s notes suggested Magnotta suffered a personality disorder.
While talking to Allard, though, he said that at the time he was experiencing auditory hallucinations of laughing, the voice of a man and whispering voices talking to each other.
Allard’s testimony will continue Tuesday.
With a file from The Canadian Press