Letisha Reimer died Nov. 1, 2016 after being stabbed at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.

Letisha Reimer died Nov. 1, 2016 after being stabbed at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.

No evidence that killer was in ‘psychotic state’ during Abbotsford school stabbing: Crown

Second day of closing arguments at ‘not criminally responsible’ hearing for Gabriel Klein

The only evidence that Gabriel Klein was in a psychotic state when he stabbed two girls at Abbotsford Senior Secondary in 2016 is his own words, a Crown lawyer stated on Thursday (Jan. 14).

Rob Macgowan presented the Crown’s closing arguments during the “not criminally responsible (NCR) due to mental disorder” hearing for Klein at B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.

Klein, who appeared via video, was convicted in March 2020 of the second-degree murder of Letisha Reimer, 13, and the aggravated assault of her 14-year-old friend (whose name is protected by a publication ban) on Nov. 1, 2016.

He was due to be sentenced in September 2020 but, instead, an NCR hearing was scheduled and began on Nov. 9.

Macgowan said on Thursday that the only way Klein should receive an NCR ruling is that if the judge agrees that Klein was “in the midst of a genuine psychotic state that caused him to lose touch with the reality of the fact that he was stabbing two screaming teenage girls.”

He said the judge would have to take Klein’s word for that because there is otherwise no evidence supporting that theory.

“Because if you don’t accept Mr. Klein’s word for it, we submit that all you would be left with is the same body of evidence upon which he was found guilty of murder and aggravated assault,” Macgowan said.

He said two doctors who testified about Klein’s mental state at the time of the attack were basing their opinions on what Klein told them. Macgowan said that is heresay, and not admissible, evidence.

Macgowan said Klein was not diagnosed with schizophrenia – which can include psychotic episodes – until after the stabbings.

Before then, he had been diagnosed with other disorders – such as fetal alcohol syndrome – that are not linked to psychosis, he said.

RELATED: Killer was in ‘psychotic state’ when he stabbed 2 girls at Abbotsford school, says defence lawyer

Macgowan said two psychotic episodes for which Klein was hospitalized – in 2014 and 2016 – were found to be induced by the use of amphetamines.

He said Klein did not begin experiencing paranoid delusions until after the stabbing, when he was in custody. Macgowan said doctors agreed that extreme stress can bring on such symptoms.

Macgowan said the Crown does not dispute that Klein was diagnosed with schizophrenia, which defence lawyer Martin Peters said on Wednesday is being successfully treated with a drug regimen.

“But the question of when that condition manifested and, more importantly, the degree to which it played a role in the offence is very much a matter of controversy and very far from clear …,” Macgowan said.

He said there were also numerous inconsistencies in Klein’s evidence given at various times before and during his trial and that some of the things he described are “atypical for a psychotic experience.”

For example, Macgowan said Klein described being “shocked and confused” when he realized he was stabbing a person, and he dropped the knife. But none of the witnesses testified that Klein appeared to be in that state at the time.

Macgowan said when Klein sat down outside the school library because he wanted to use a computer but they were all in use, just before he stabbed the girls, there was no evidence that he was in a psychotic state.

Peters argued during his closing submissions on Wednesday that Klein was in a psychotic state at the time of the stabbings and did not have the capacity to know that what he was doing was wrong; therefore, he should be found “not criminally responsible.”

Closing arguments ended late Thursday afternoon, and a date will be set for the judge to give her ruling.

The NCR defence was not used during Klein’s trial.

An NCR ruling means that a judge believes an individual did not have the capacity to appreciate his or her actions and/or know right from wrong at the time of their offence.

Individuals who receive such a ruling fall under the mandate of the BC Review Board, which conducts an assessment to determine whether the person should be detained in a hospital, discharged in the community under certain conditions or discharged without conditions.

RELATED: Gabriel Klein guilty of 2nd-degree murder in Abbotsford high school stabbing



vhopes@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CrimeSupreme Court

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Gabriel Klein was convicted in March 2020 of the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer and the aggravated assault of her friend.

Gabriel Klein was convicted in March 2020 of the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer and the aggravated assault of her friend.

Just Posted

FILE — In this March 31, 2021 file photo, a nurse fills a syringe with a dose of the Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose COVID-19 vaccine at the Vaxmobile, at the Uniondale Hempstead Senior Center, in Uniondale, N.Y. The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in administration of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. In a joint statement Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said it was investigating clots in six women in the days after vaccination, in combination with reduced platelet counts. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
72 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases in the region to 9,666 since the pandemic began

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising five years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

The Kimberley Public Library is returning to curb side only borrowing for the next while. Bulletin file
Kimberley Public Library returning to curb side pick up only

Beginning today, Tuesday, April 13, 2021, the Kimberley Public Library will return… Continue reading

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. Photo courtesy Conservative Party of Canada.
MP Morrison hopes for economic recovery plan in upcoming federal budget

Kootenay-Columbia Conservative looking for post-pandemic recovery plan in next week’s Liberal budget

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

Titanic was the largest and most luxurious ship in the world. Photo provided and colourized by Jiri Ferdinand.
QUIZ: How much do you know about the world’s most famous shipwreck?

Titanic sank 109 years ago today, after hitting an iceberg

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Defence counsel for the accused entered two not guilty pleas by phone to Grand Forks Provincial Court Tuesday, Jan. 12. File photo
B.C. seafood company owner fined $25K for eating receipt, obstructing DFO inspection

Richmond company Tenshi Seafood is facing $75,000 in fines as decided March 4 by a provincial court judge

Most Read