MONTREAL - Luka Rocco Magnotta collapsed in court during his preliminary hearing while appearing distraught by the evidence presented against him Tuesday.
The notorious suspect in a killing-and-dismemberment case was suddenly lying on his right side, crumpled into a fetal position.
He was still handcuffed and shackled.
"You might want to make room for an ambulance," the Crown prosecutor, Louis Bouthillier, told the guards outside the courtroom.
His lawyers came to check in on him, and gazed at Magnotta across the glass-enclosed defendant's box in the special high-security courtroom where the case is being heard.
The episode happened while Magnotta took in evidence in the gruesome case, whose content is temporarily subject to a publication ban.
The evidence could be made public, if the case goes to trial.
It wasn't immediately clear whether Magnotta left in an ambulance. What was announced, however, was that Magnotta would not be back in court for the 2 p.m. afternoon session and the hearing was suspended for the rest of the day.
"He really doesn't feel well and he's not able to continue," his lawyer Luc Leclair told the judge.
Judge Lori-Renee Weitzman said they could not continue without Magnotta present and ordered the case suspended until Wednesday morning.
Leclair said he believes his client will be fine with a little bit of rest.
During the morning segment Magnotta had held his hand over his mouth, as if he felt ill. His eyes were closed for much of the session.
The 30-year-old suspect appeared to wipe away tears, behind his glasses, several times. His head remained down while one particular piece of evidence was presented.
About 10 minutes into that part of the hearing, Magnotta turned to the bailiff next to him and asked him to convey a request for a break.
The bailiff raised his finger for permission to speak and asked the judge for a five-minute pause. The judge agreed to an extended break for lunch.
That's when Magnotta stood up and collapsed to the floor.
He is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of Jun Lin, a 33-year-old Concordia University engineering student from China.
Magnotta is also facing four other charges relating to the case.
He is accused of dismembering Lin and mailing parts of his body across Canada, before leading police on an international manhunt. Magnotta was ultimately arrested in Germany.
Lin's parents were not in the courtroom Tuesday morning. His father has attended the preliminary hearing at times but has not stayed in the courtroom when the most graphic evidence has been heard.