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

South Columbia Search and Rescue called in the Nelson Search and Rescue and Kootenay Valley Helicopters to provide a long line rescue. Photo: BCSAR submitted.
Long-line rescue needed for injured hiker near Trail

Members of South Columbia and Nelson SAR and Kootenay Valley Helicopters did a long-line evacuation

A sign indicating a COVID-19 testing site is displayed inside a parking garage in West Nyack, N.Y., Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. The site was only open to students and staff of Rockland County schools in an effort to test enough people to keep the schools open for in-person learning. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
4 more deaths, 54 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

This brings the total to 66 deaths in the region

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Castlegar Sculpturewalk 2020 – 10 Year Anniversary Sand Sculpture. (Submitted/CBT)
CBT arts and culture grant program now accepting applications

Apply through the Kootenay Columbia Cultural Alliance

Energy consultant Michèle Deluca and city building inspector Sam Ellison are researching how to account for embodied carbon when calculating a new building’s carbon footprint. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Nelson researches climate impact of embodied carbon in new buildings

Embodied carbon is the footprint of the manufacture and transport of building materials

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Kamloops hospital grows to 66 cases

A majority of cases remain among staff at Royal Inland Hospital

Kamloops RCMP covered the animal with a blanket and dragged it out of the home on a carpet. (Kamloops This Week)
Oh ‘deer’: Bambi breaks into Kamloops home

A deer got trapped into a Kamloops home and had to be escorted out by RCMP

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at B.C. legislature on the province’s mass vaccination plan for COVID-19, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 quarantine not an option for B.C., John Horgan says

Apres-ski parties increase risk, not interprovincial travel

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.
Worker at Swartz Bay terminal on Monday, January 20, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Former BC Ferries employee alleges he was fired because of his race

Imraan Goondiwala has been granted a BC Human Rights Tribunal hearing

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker have been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s Civil Emergency Measures Act for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
B.C. couple who travelled to Yukon for COVID vaccine ineligible for 2nd dose until summer

Health officials planning new measures to ensure people verify where they live before inoculation

(File)
Mask dispute in court leaves Vancouver cop with broken leg

Man allegedly refused to put on a mask and resisted arrest

Most Read