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Defence wraps up in trial of man accused of killing 12-year-old B.C. girl

Last Updated Jan 8, 2019 at 9:15 pm PDT

Monica Jack disappeared in May 1978.

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The defence has wrapped up final arguments at the trial of a man accused of killing a 12-year-old girl near Merritt more than 40 years ago.

Patrick Angly urged jurors to reject what he says was a false confession made by Garry Handlen to an undercover RCMP officer during a so-called Mr. Big operation.

He says Handlen told multiple lies throughout the nearly nine-month undercover operation, not because he was boasting as the Crown has suggested but because “he is a liar.”

RELATED: Man accused of killing B.C. girl, 12, lied about the murder: defence lawyer

But he told a B.C. Supreme Court jury that if they believe the confession was real, they should conclude that Handlen snapped and didn’t mean to kill Monica Jack in 1978.

Angly says that would lead to a guilty verdict for manslaughter — instead of the charge of first-degree murder that Handlen is facing.

Handlen has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death Monica Jack, who was last seen on May 6, 1978, as she rode her bike in Merritt, B.C.

RCMP undercover officers befriended Handlen in early 2014 in Minden, Ont., and paid him nearly $12,000 to do jobs such as smuggling cigarettes, loan sharking and repossessing vehicles.