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Guilty Verdict in Canada for Accused Serial Killer


A jury in Canada has found an accused serial killer guilty of murdering six women, and prosecutors say he will be charged with killing 20 others.

Pig farmer Robert "Willie" Pickton will be sentenced to life in prison, with parole possible after 10 years. A jury in Canada's western province of British Columbia found him guilty of second-degree murder - a reduced charge that means a killing was not planned in advance.

Canadian authorities say they intend to put the 58-year-old defendant on trial again for 20 other killings, carried out over a period of years around the city of Vancouver, on Canada's Pacific coast. All the victims were women, and most were prostitutes or drug addicts.

In the case decided Sunday, police found partial remains of the six women buried at Pickton's pig farm. His attorneys contended there was no proof that Pickton killed the women.

During the trial, prosecutors presented several witnesses who testified that Pickton told them details of his numerous killings. They also showed a videotaped conversation in jail between Pickton and an undercover policeman, in which the farmer said he had killed 49 women and planned to kill again.

Another witness said Pickton told him he strangled some of his victims, cut up their bodies and fed them to his farm animals.

Vancouver authorities say more than 60 women disappeared between the late 1980s and 2001 from a city neighborhood where many sex trade workers operated.

The defendant showed no emotion in court Sunday when his verdict was pronounced. No date has been set for an additional trial, but if Pickton is subsequently convicted of first-degree murder, he could be forced to serve at least 25 years in prison before applying for parole.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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