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

The Cowichan Capitals traded defenceman Clark Webster to his hometown Summerside Western Capitals. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Hopeful Cowichan Capitals make flurry of deadline deals

Roster bolstered in case BCHL season gets go-ahead

Neurologist and medical educator Dr. Alexandre Henri-Bhargava, seen here speaking at the 2020 Breakfast to Remember in Victoria, will delve into the latest in dementia research during an interactive research event exclusively for attendees of this year’s virtual Breakfast. Access to the March 10 research event is included with the purchase of a Breakfast to Remember ticket. (Kevin Light Photography)
Blast off with Chris Hadfield at Alzheimer Society’s Breakfast to Remember in March

The Society hopes people in all corners of the province will make the most of this opportunity

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Duncan initiates pilot project to deal with graffiti

Project based on a successful one in Port Alberni

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

This was the scene outside North Saanich’s Parkland Secondary School after an attempted but unsuccessful break-and-enter into the school torched an ATM inside of it. Sidney/North Saanich RCMP did not make any arrests and currently lack suspects as the investigation continues. Members of the public who may have witnessed something or possess other information can contact police at (250) 656-3931 or to Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. (Submitted)
Money to burn: burglars torch North Saanich high school ATM

Police dogs searched the exterior and interior of the school after early morning break-and-enter

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

t
Province invests $2M in three Vancouver Island food hubs

Hub network provides shared-use processing facilities to small agri-businesses

Most Read