Crown stays 20 Pickton murder charges

Crown prosecutors in B.C. have formally stayed 20 outstanding murder charges against convicted serial killer Robert Pickton, ending the prospect of any more trials.

Pickton, a former Port Coquitlam pig farmer now serving a life sentence in prison, was found guilty on six counts of second-degree murder in December 2007 in the deaths of women from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside neighbourhood.

He was originally charged with killing 26 women, but the Crown decided first to pursue the six cases that were most likely to result in convictions.

Pickton, now 60, was convicted on six counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Sereena Abotsway, Mona Wilson, Andrea Joesbury, Georgina Papin, Marnie Frey and Brenda Wolfe.

The victims went missing from the troubled Vancouver neighbourhood between 1978 and 2001 and traces of their remains were found on Pickton's farm, about 25 kilometres east of the city.

He was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for at least 25 years. Pickton appealed the six convictions to the Supreme Court of Canada, but it ruled unanimously in a decision released last week that he would not a get new trial.

With files from The Canadian Press