Crown refuses webcam killer's manslaughter plea

Qian

Qian "Necole" Liu speaking to a friend in China via web cam when she was attacked. (Toronto Police handout photo)

Michele Mandel, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 9:49 PM ET

TORONTO — It was the start of a murder trial that almost didn’t begin at all.

As more than 300 people filled the cavernous downtown Toronto courtroom -- summons in hand, hoping they wouldn’t be chosen to serve on his jury -- a handsome accused killer was asked to stand to be arraigned on charges of first-degree murder in the 2011 slaying of York University student Qian “Necole” Liu.

But then Brian Dickson, dressed in a charcoal suit and no tie, surprised many when he tried to enter a plea of guilty to the lesser offence of manslaughter.

If that had been accepted, the long-anticipated “webcam” trial would have been over before it began and all those prospective jurors would have been sent on their way.


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