Garry Taylor Handlen entered a plea of not guilty to the first-degree murder of the 12-year-old Monica Jack (pictured). DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Crown says man guilty of B.C. girl’s 1978 murder based on alleged confession

Jury hears details of girl’s 1978 murder while Crown says man should be convicted of girl’s murder based on alleged confession.

A Crown attorney says a man charged with murdering a 12-year-girl in British Columbia over 40 years ago confessed to undercover police and should be found guilty.

Mark Sheardown told jurors on the opening day of a trial that Garry Handlen provided details about abducting the girl while she was riding her new bike, sexually assaulting her and then killing her.

Handlen has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Monica Jack on May 6, 1978, near Merritt.

Sheardown told B.C. Supreme Court that Jack’s skull and some bones were found 17 years later and linked to her through dental records.

He says Handlen was living in Minden, Ont., in 2014 when he was the focus in an undercover police operation and allegedly provided a supposed crime boss with details of the murder.

Sheardown says Handlen was charged after accompanying members of a fictitious crime group to a highway in Merritt, where he said he abducted the girl.

Related: Trial set for man charged with decades-old murder of B.C. girl

The Canadian Press

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