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

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

Hecht Beach cabin in ashes. (Submitted)
Beloved secret cabin lost to fire on the North Island’s west coast

The trappers cabin was shared with locals, but kept mostly secret

An Atlantic salmon is seen during a Department of Fisheries and Oceans fish health audit at a fish farm near Campbell River, B.C. in 2018. Mowi Canada has applied to the Federal Court of Canada for a judicial review of the decision by Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan to phase out salmon farming in the Discovery Islands by June, 2022. (Canadian Press/Jonathan Hayward photo)
Major B.C. salmon farms seek court intervention in Discovery Islands ban

Fisheries minister is phasing out operations in the area by June 2022

Michelle Lau with donations that have already been contributed for families kept away from home due to the Town Park Apartments fire. (Zoe Ducklow Photo)
Fundraiser started for tenants left hanging after apartment fire

Tenants not allowed back in to get personal items, so in need of clothes, food, gift cards

A mattress on fire gutted the second floor hallway at Town Park Apartments C-block Jan. 17. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue images)
‘Suspicious’ Port Hardy apartment fire could keep tenants out of their homes for months

A burning mattress created smoke and heat, causing several tenants to jump from windows

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

A suspect has been arrested in connection with fires at Drinkwater Elementary (pictured) and École Mount Prevost. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Arson suspect arrested after fires at Cowichan Valley schools

Drinkwater Elementary and Mount Prevost schools hit within a week

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

Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Two Nanaimo care-home residents have died during COVID-19 outbreak

Death reported Monday was the second related to Chartwell Malaspina outbreak, says Island Health

Rod Bitten of Union Bay won $500,000 in the Lotto Max draw on Jan. 15. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island electrician gets shocking surprise with $500K Extra win

Rod Bitten has been hard at work with home renovations, which is… Continue reading

Oyster River Fire Rescue members were called out to a suspicious fire in Black Creek. Two vehicles parked at a private residence were destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy Oyster River Fire Rescue
Suspicious fire destroys two vehicles at Vancouver Island residence

Oyster River Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched to a fire at a… Continue reading

Members of the BC RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit (EDU) is on route to Drummond Park opposite of Fulford Habour on Saltspring Island after the discovery of a suspicious cylindrical-shaped device. (Google/Screencap)
Bomb disposal unit en route to Salt Spring Island after suspicious device found in park

Police say a resident discovered the device Wednesday morning in Drummond Park opposite BC Ferries terminal

Seven streets in downtown Duncan, including Station Street, will soon have new native names added to their signage. (Submitted graphic)
New Duncan street signs will be in English and Hul’q’umi’num

Seven streets to get additional names in First Nations language

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

Most Read