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

Five-year-old Bayne Krause poses for a photo with his mom Marianne. Bayne’s shirt reads, ‘I have Cystic Fibrosis. Help keep me healthy, please social distance.’ Photo: Laurie Tritschler
West Kootenay mom promotes awareness of cystic fibrosis

Marianne Krause wants people to know what it’s like for her five-year-old son to live with CF

A rolled-over semi along Highway 95. The RCMP have responded to nine collisions in the last month. (Brain Duchovnay photo)
Golden/Field RCMP recap last two months

The RCMP responded to 463 calls to service over the last two months

Details will be made available in the next few days. (File photo)
UPDATED: Community vaccine program to open in Golden

The clinic will be held from Saturday, May 8 until Sunday, May 16.

The higher elevation melt is getting underway as rivers such as Mark Creek in Kimberley are running faster. Paul Rodgers file
Snow packs down just below normal in East and West Kootenay

The West Kootenay in particular had below normal precipitation in April

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

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation wants ‘massive change’ after its 3rd police shooting in less than a year

Nuu-chah-nulth woman recovering from gunshot wounds in weekend incident near Ucluelet

RCMP (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
High-risk takedown on Highway 1 following Shuswap shooting

Upon further investigation, the vehicle and its occupants were not associated with the shooting

Nurse Gurinder Rai, left, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Maria Yule at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The site is open for vaccinations 11 hours per day to those who have pre-booked an appointment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID vaccine bookings to open for adults 40+, or 18+ in hotspots, across B.C.

Only people who have registered will get their alert to book

Dr. Victoria Lee, CEO of Fraser Health, hosts an update on efforts to contain B.C.’s COVID-19 transmission in Surrey and the Fraser Valley and protect hospitals in the Lower Mainland, May 6, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate slowing, 20 more people die

Deaths include two people in their 40s, two in their 50s

Hanoi 36 owner Michael Vu hopes to open Weekends Restaurant & Lounge this summer in the former Chicken Direct location on Alexander Street. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Business: Salmon Arm restaurateur working for the Weekends

Hanoi 36 owner Michael Vu to open new downtown izakaya-inspired restaurant

Kelowna RCMP are investigating a robbery that happened over the weekend.	(Phil McLachlan/Black Press Media file)
RCMP searching for suspect after armed robbery at Kelowna gas station

Police were unable to locate a man after he allegedly robbed a business on Highway 33 W

(Black Press Media file)
Mounties investigate downtown Kelowna group assault

Police said the incident happened at the Queensway bus loop on May 8

Most Read