Pig farmer convicted of murders
A pig farmer accused of being Canada's worst serial killer has been found guilty of second-degree murder in the deaths of six women.
Robert Willie' Pickton was on trial for the first six of 26 murder charges for the deaths of women, most of them prostitutes and drug addicts from a seedy Vancouver neighbourhood.
Pickton, 58, was found guilty of the murders of Mona Wilson, Sereena Abotsway, Marnie Frey, Brenda Wolfe, Andrea Joesbury and Georgina Papin. He will be sentenced tomorrow.
The defence acknowledged that their remains were found on Pickton's farm outside Vancouver, but denied he was responsible for their deaths.
Two sisters of victim Georgina Papin screamed "No!" when the jury foreman first stood up and said "not guilty" on first-degree murder.
But later said they were pleased he was convicted on the second-degree charge.
Pickton listened to the verdict with his head bowed and later smirked.
He will receive life in prison and will not be eligible for parole for at least 10 years.
The jury had no recommendation on whether to extend that 10-year period.
The jury of seven men and five women took 10 days to reach a verdict. They had the option of finding Pickton guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree murder or manslaughter or not guilty on any of the six counts.
Second-degree murder is a lesser charge that means a murder was not planned.
First-degree murder, which means a murder was planned, also carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison and does not offer parole eligibility for 25 years.
Family members and friends gathered for a candlelight vigil outside the courthouse in New Westminster, British Columbia, after the verdicts. A poem and a song written about the women was played. Some sobbed.
Publication date 10/12/07