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

From the left, Midway RCMP seized suspected cannabis, cocaine and fentanyl from a truck pulled over by Conservation Service Officers in the West Boundary Monday, Jan. 17. Photo submitted
Midway RCMP find suspected drugs in traffic stop by Conservation Service Officers

Cpl. Phil Peters said the CSOs were stopping local hunters on Highway 33

A Grand Forks Fire/Rescue water tanker makes it way up the hill on Gibbs Creek Road after a homeowner doused a chimney fire Wednesday, Jan. 20. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Rural Grand Forks homeowner douses chimney fire

Grand Forks Fire/Rescue said the man’s quick thinking put out the flames

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine to Ann Hicks, 77, in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-Pool
61 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

Twenty-nine people are in hospital, seven of whom are in intensive care

(Big White Ski Resort)
28 more cases of COVID-19 linked to Big White cluster

More than 200 cases have been identified since the cluster was announced

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

Interior Health has declared the Cariboo Chilcotin a community cluster. (Angie Mindus photo)
Interior Health declares Cariboo Chilcotin region a COVID-19 cluster, 215 cases since Jan. 1

Most cases are related to transmission at social events and gatherings in Williams Lake

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Vernon's Noric House long-term care facility is dealing with an influenza outbreak amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)
Two more deaths at Vernon care home

Noric House case numbers remain steady, but death toll rises

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
1-in-5 COVID tests coming back positive in and around Fernie, sparking concern

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Most Read