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.

UPDATED: Second-degree murder conviction stands for Abbotsford school killer

Judge finds that Gabriel Klein is criminally responsible for death of Letisha Reimer

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has ruled that the man who stabbed Abbotsford high school student Letisha Reimer to death in 2016 should be held criminally responsible.

The ruling, announced Thursday (April 22) in New Westminster, means that Gabriel Klein’s prior conviction will stand for the second-degree murder of Reimer, 13, and the aggravated assault of her 14-year-old friend on Nov. 1, 2016 at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.

The sentencing hearing has been set for June 22 and 23 in New Westminster.

Justice Heather Holmes rejected Klein’s application that he was not criminally responsible due to mental disorder (NCRMD). In her written ruling, she said the evidence did not support that Klein’s state of mind at the time of the attack rendered him incapable of appreciating the nature and quality of his actions or knowing that they were wrong – the two requirements that must be met for an NCRMD ruling.

Holmes said there were numerous inconsistencies in Klein’s “core narrative” at the NCRMD hearing: that he stabbed the girls because he thought one was a zombie and the other was a witch and he heard voices telling him to “Kill! Kill! Kill!”

The justice said these inconsistencies included that, in his first descriptions of the stabbings, he told two corrections officers who were guarding him in hospital that he had attacked “girls.”

Holmes said Klein told a psychiatrist in hospital four days after the stabbing that he saw girls who began to look like monsters when he squinted his eyes. He then described that one looked liked a grey owl and the other like a “shape-shifting witch.”

Klein told yet another doctor that he thought the girls were monsters as they walked by him and, as they approached him, one looked like a monster and the other a demon.

Holmes said there were also inconsistencies in the descriptions Klein provided about the voices he said he heard in his head at the time of the attack.

At some points, he said a voice named Lucy told him to kill, while at other times he said Lucy was a name spoken by that voice. Klein also indicated at various times that there were two voices, that the devil’s voice told him to kill, and that there were no voices, Holmes said.

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

RELATED: Gabriel Klein guilty of 2nd-degree murder in Abbotsford high school stabbing

The justice said there were also inconsistences about Klein’s history of hearing voices, including when they first began.

Holmes said “even a truthful person will recount experiences in different ways at different times” and psychosis “may additionally challenge the encoding of memory.”

“However, neither possible psychosis at the time of the events nor other distinctive mental health features could account for the most marked inconsistencies in Mr. Klein’s narrative of the key events,” she said.

“And, weighing against Mr. Klein’s credibility and reliability are additional features, such as his readiness to deceive and to manipulate for a desired result.”

Holmes said Klein never suggested he did not know that stabbing people was wrong or that, when the voices told him to kill, he was incapable of appreciating that to do so was wrong.

“On all the evidence, Mr. Klein has not proven that his schizophrenia had reached its acute stage by the time of the offences. Nor has he proven that he was experiencing psychosis with visual and/or auditory hallucinations when he committed the offences,” she said.

A second-degree murder conviction comes with an automatic life sentence, but the judge must determine parole eligibility, which can range from 10 to 25 years.

Klein previously went to trial and was convicted in March 2020. He was due for sentencing last September, but instead he applied for an NCRMD hearing.

The NCRMD defence had not been presented at his trial.

During the NCRMD hearing, which concluded in January, defence lawyer Martin Peters argued that Klein, who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, was in a psychotic state when he stabbed the two girls. Klein testified at his trial that he stabbed the girls because he thought one was a zombie and the other was a witch.

Crown lawyer Rob Macgowan countered at the NCR hearing that there was no evidence to support that defence other than Klein’s own words. Macgowan said if the judge didn’t believe Klein, she would be left with the same evidence upon which he was found guilty at trial.

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

RELATED: No evidence that killer was in ‘psychotic state’ during Abbotsford school stabbing: Crown



vhopes@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Cops and CourtsCrime

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

John Pavelich’s 83rd birthday had an added surprise; members of Enderby City Council came by his residence to present him with a Lifetime Civic Merit award Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Contributed)
Enderby resident unwraps Lifetime Civic Merit award on 83rd birthday

John ‘JP’ Pavelich has been a pillar of volunteerism in Enderby since 1967

The Salmon Arm Pickleball Club would like to store its locker containing a defibrillator and a few other items at the pickleball courts in Klahani Park. (Photo contributed)
Talk of ‘new day’ follows pickleball club request for locker at Salmon Arm park

Council voices varying opinions about locker for defibrillator but agrees to get rec society’s view

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

The Vernon Vipers defeated the Salmon Arm Silverbacks 3-1 to secure the top spot in the BC Hockey League Vernon pod Friday, May 7, 2021. (Lisa Mazurek Photography)
VIDEO: Vipers beat Salmon Arm, clinch top spot in BCHL Vernon pod

Goaltender James Porter Jr. was a wall for the Vipers, who outscored the Silverbacks 3-1 Friday

The 2021 Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival will be a virtual event and is slated to take place Aug. 13 and 14.(Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Virtual Salmon Arm Roots and Blues returns for 2021

Participating artists will stream live during two-night event

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

City of Vernon Coun. Dalvir Nahal proposed two blocks of Main Street be closed to bolster recovery for downtown businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)
Vernon’s ‘support local’ Main Street closure would cost city $24K, staff say

Bylaw costs, loss of parking revenue and equipment logistics behind price tag

Five properties have been added to the Lake Country fire protection zone, after council moved to expand the local service area Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (Google Maps)
Lake Country expands fire protection zone, covering 5 exposed properties

The properties petitioned to join the local service area after being left out ‘for reasons unknown’

VSAR’s Air Rescue One unit assisted in a rescue in West Kelowna May 3, 2021. (VSAR screenshot)
VIDEO: VSAR’s Air Rescue One team assists in West Kelowna Rescue

The Vernon Search and Rescue helicopter team pulled off a successful rescue Monday

Peachland resident and cleanup volunteer Lloyd Stinson Sotas holds up a discarded TV riddled with bullet holes. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
PHOTOS: Peachland residents clean up community watershed

More than 70 people gave back to Mother Earth by assisting with the cleanup

Most Read