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Serial killer Pickton makes court appearance for lawsuit
David Ball, QMI Agency
First posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 07:14 PM EDT | Updated: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 08:23 PM EDT
VANCOUVER -- Convicted serial killer Robert Pickton returned to court by video Tuesday, sitting quietly as lawyers discussed the next steps in lawsuits from 13 children whose mothers' DNA was found on his farm.
The civil case returned to court just as the B.C. government and City of Vancouver were poised to agree on a settlement of $50,000 plus legal costs per child, which would leave Pickton and his brother Dave as the only remaining defendants. But the settlement is being stalled because of trouble finding one of the 13 plaintiffs, sources told 24 hours.
Wearing a white T-shirt and too-short dark pants, the segregated inmate at Kent Institution in Agassiz, located 100 km east of Vancouver, spoke calmly when asked if he'd allow documents to be filed without his signature.
“I'm good, thank you very much,” he replied, his hands pressed between his knees.
Watching from the gallery, the mother of 20-year-old Stephanie Lane — whose DNA was found on Pickton's farm — told QMI Agency that seeing the serial killer on screen has been a “sickening” experience.
Dave Pickton lived on the Port Coquitlam, B.C. property, but has denied responsibility for the women's deaths.
Reached by phone when the case launched last May, Dave rejected the lawsuit's allegations that he — and his sister Linda, who has been dropped from the suit — should have known what was happening on the farm. The allegations have not been tested in court.
“If they've got a problem, it's with the government and my brother — not us,” he said.
In 2012, missing women inquiry head Wally Oppal accused police of a “colossal failure” and racial bias in failing to catch Pickton sooner — including ignoring police experts' warnings, failing to search the farm after numerous tips, and dismissing missing women reports.
Robert Pickton was convicted of six second-degree murders in 2007. He told an undercover officer he'd killed 49 women. Pickton is eligible for parole in 2032. The lawsuit returns to court on April 8.
FUND ANNOUNCED
B.C. Attorney General Suzanne Anton officially confirmed what QMI Agency first reported Monday — that the children of missing women will each get $50,000 in compensation.
Anton announced a $4.9-million fund Tuesday alongside representatives of the City of Vancouver, its police force, and the RCMP. She said the fund is for 98 children of those named in the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry's 2012 report, including those whose DNA was found on Robert Pickton's farm.
“It is our sincere hope that this funding will provide these children with an opportunity to enhance their education, their housing and other circumstances as they progress with their lives,” Anton said.
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