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Handlen sentencing hearing begins Monday after first-degree murder conviction

FILE: Garry Taylor Handlen.

The sentencing hearing for Garry Handlen begins Monday

Handlen was convicted of the first-degree murder for killing 12-year-old Monica Jack in 1978

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The man found guilty of first degree murder in the killing of a 12-year-old near Merritt more than 40 years ago could be sentenced this week.

On January 17th, a jury found Garry Handlen guilty of first degree murder in the May 1978 death of Monica Jack near Merritt. His sentencing hearing starts Monday.

RELATED: Man accused of killing Merritt girl found guilty

Handlen confessed during an undercover RCMP sting in 2014 and his criminal record includes past sexual assault convictions.

The case dates back to May of 1978 when Monica Jack was abducted, raped and killed two days before her 13th birthday.

First degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life with no eligibility of parole for at least 25 years, but there’s a chance his conviction could be appealed.

Handlen’s lawyers have argued his confession to the RCMP in 2014 was coerced