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Canadian webcam killing suspect pleads not guilty

March 21, 2014

TORONTO (AP) — A Canadian man accused of killing a Chinese student, attacked in her Toronto apartment as her boyfriend watched through a webcam in China, pleaded not guilty Friday to first-degree murder.

Brian Dickson, 32, offered to plead guilty to manslaughter, but the prosecution rejected the lesser charge in the death of Qian Liu.

Justice Anne Molloy explained to jurors in a Toronto courtroom that the prosecution intends to prove its case that Dickson is guilty of first-degree murder.

Liu was found dead in her apartment April 15, 2011 just a few hours after her boyfriend in China watched via webcam as she tried to fend off an attacker who appeared at her door. The boyfriend told police he saw Liu struggling with a man before her computer was shut off.

The case captured international attention.

Liu, who was 23, studied at Beijing City University before moving to Canada to study English.

Liu Qian’s laptop computer, webcam and mobile phone were taken from the apartment the night of the attack, police said. Police said the online chat was on a live streaming camera and was not recorded.

Liu’s parents are in Toronto for the trial. Opening arguments are expected Monday.

Dickson lived in an apartment in the same house as Liu just outside the campus of York University.

Update hourly