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Jury finds man accused of killing B.C. girl guilty

VANCOUVER — The man accused of killing a 12-year-old British Columbia girl more than 40 years ago has been found guilty of first-degree murder.

A B.C. Supreme Court jury began deliberating the fate of Garry Handlen on Tuesday after an 11-week trial.

Twelve-year-old Monica Jack disappeared in May 1978 while riding her bike along a highway in Merritt, B.C., and her remains were found 17 years later.

Handlen was the subject of a RCMP sting operation in 2014 and told an undercover officer that he sexually assaulted and strangled Jack after abducting her.

Handlen's defence team maintained the confession was coerced.

The Crown's lawyer told the jury the man had no motivation to confess to a crime he didn't commit and Handlen felt relief at having unburdened himself from a secret that he'd carried for decades.

More coming.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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