Letisha Reimer, 13, was killed Nov. 1, 2016 in a stabbing at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.

Letisha Reimer, 13, was killed Nov. 1, 2016 in a stabbing at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.

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

Closing arguments underway in ‘not criminally responsible’ hearing for Gabriel Klein

Gabriel Klein was in a psychotic state when he stabbed two girls at an Abbotsford high school in 2016 and lacked the capacity to know that what he was doing was wrong, his lawyer argued in court Wednesday afternoon (Jan. 13).

Martin Peters said, for that reason, Klein should be found “not criminally responsible (NCR) due to mental disorder” for the killing of Letisha Reimer, 13, and the assault of her 14-year-old friend (who can’t be named due to a publication ban) on Nov. 1, 2016 at Abbotsford Senior Secondary,

Peters was the first to present closing arguments in the NCR hearing, which began Nov. 9 at B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.

Peters said Klein was “not in control of himself” during the stabbing.

Klein testified on the first day of the hearing that he had gone to the high school to call his mom, who has since died, from the library there because he was feeling depressed and suicidal. He said he couldn’t find a seat in the library, so he sat down in the school rotunda.

RELATED: Closing arguments to begin at hearing for Abbotsford school stabbing

He said he looked to his left, saw two “monsters” – one a zombie, the other a witch – and heard voices in his head telling him to “Kill! Kill! Kill!” Klein then repeatedly stabbed the two girls.

Peters said on Wednesday that Klein was suffering from a mental disorder at the time and could not “appreciate that the consequences of his actions would result in the death of one human being.”

“He subjectively thought that what he was doing was just – he was killing monsters – and Klein’s psychotic state removed his capacity to assess, and therefore know, that his actions would be viewed as morally wrong …” Peters said.

He said Klein has been diagnosed with “several mental disorders” – including fetal alcohol syndrome disorder – that might have predisposed him to schizophrenia, with which he was diagnosed after the stabbings.

Peters addressed the Crown’s submission that the attack was driven by a combination of factors such as anger, desperation, impulsiveness and alcohol.

Peters said the only evidence previously presented in court about Klein’s anger was from an incident at the Lookout homeless shelter in Abbotsford hours before the stabbings, when he slammed the door and left in an “aggressive manner.”

Klein was also found to have a “low level” of intoxication after the attack, Peters said.

He again emphasized his belief that Klein was experiencing a mental disorder at the time.

RELATED: Abbotsford school killer says he saw ‘monsters’ when he stabbed 2 girls

“He was experiencing auditory and visual hallucinations, tortured by the voices, and he complied with their directions in the hope that they would stop,” Peters said.

Crown lawyer Rob Macgowan will present his closing submissions starting at 9:30 a.m. Thursday (Jan. 14).

Klein was initially brought to the courtroom on Wednesday morning but was asked to be removed and taken back to the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam when the judge was informed that he was not feeling well.

Klein then appeared via video on Wednesday morning and will do so again on Thursday.

He was convicted in March 2020 of second-degree murder and aggravated assault.

The NCR defence was not used during his trial, and his sentencing hearing had been scheduled to take place in September 2020. Instead, families of the two girls were informed a week ahead that Klein had been granted an NCR hearing.

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.



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 sits in the prisoner’s dock during the first day of his trial on Oct. 7, 2019 in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. (Sketch by Felicity Don)

Gabriel Klein sits in the prisoner’s dock during the first day of his trial on Oct. 7, 2019 in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. (Sketch by Felicity Don)

Just Posted

(Ronan O’Doherty/The News)
Fire at house on Creekside in Maple Ridge

Residents putting out fire inside garage as firefighters arrive

Tristan points to all the spots on a map of Canada his joke book has been sent. (Special to The News)
Pitt Meadows boy raises $6,000 for local charities through sales of joke book

Tristan Kennedy’s A Reason to Smile sold more than 500 copies across Canada, and around the world

Public input is being sought for a plan to widen Highway 7 between 266 Street and 287 Street. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)
Highway widening planned for Maple Ridge

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure asking public for input

Food For the Soul is taking part in the Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser.
New Maple Ridge charity hosts Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser

Food For the Soul will host annual event that has moved online for 2021

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

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

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

RCMP officers wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 stand by. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
RCMP appeal for witnesses after hit-and-run leaves girl, 17, in critical condition

The Metro Vancouver teenager was found unconscious and critically injured after being hit: police

Most Read