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

A Nanaimo man is offering a $300 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person who broke into his SUV and stole components from his drone. (News Bulletin file photo)
Drone owner offering reward after components stolen from his vehicle in Nanaimo

Vehicle break-in happened last month on Departure Bay Road

Regenerative farming that meets genuine needs should take priority over commercial recklessness, says columnist. (Stock photo)
Column: Hubris, greed causing humans to live destructively

Placing the economy as the top priority is licence to destroy natural systems, says columnist

Kyle Patrick McGuire was give a nine-month non-custodial sentencing to be followed by two years of probation on Wednesday, March 3, at the Nanaimo Law Courts. (PQB News file photo)
Bowser man sentenced to house arrest after guilty plea to child pornography offence

Nine-month non-custodial sentence to be followed by two years probation

A concept for development of the Green Thumb property in north Nanaimo. (Barefoot Planning and Design image)
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Develop land with care and thought

It’s getting to the point that you can’t go a block without seeing more apartments, says letter writer

Nanaimo Community Archives is looking for submissions from homeowners who took on exterior renovation projects, no matter how big or how small, for the first Heritage House Renovations Awards. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo archives holding first Heritage House Renovation Awards

Judges want photos and descriptions of exterior renovations that enhanced character of Nanaimo homes

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

A rendering of Front Street transportation improvements set to get underway as soon as next week. (McElhanney image/City of Nanaimo)
Work set to start on Front Street cycle track in downtown Nanaimo

Road work and street reconfiguration project scheduled to start in March, finish in May

The Regional District of Nanaimo’s board is forwarding a motion on illegal dumping to the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities’ upcoming annual general meeting. (Kane Blake photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo motion seeks to ask province for help to combat illegal dumping

RDN resolution to be forwarded to Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Most Read