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

From now to November, WildsafeBC will be educating the public through its various programs in the community of Bella Coola. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bears are back, and so is WildSafeBC

Rae will be working hard to reach out to community members in new and innovative ways

Bella Coola’s new WildSafeBC co-ordinator, Rae Kokeš, has spent the last 10 years in Africa working in lion, human, conflict, and is a wildlife biologist by trade. (Photo submitted)
From the savannas of Africa to the Bella Coola Valley

New Wildsafe BC coordinator ready to tackle wildlife conflict

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Stolen truck found broken down on Highway 97C, Williams Lake suspect arrested near Ashcroft

A security guard first noticed the truck, and thought it looked suspicious

This will be the second year the Bella Coola Valley Rodeo won’t take place due to the pandemic. (Michael Wigle file photo)
Bella Coola Valley Rodeo cancelled for 2021

Club organizers say next year’s rodeo will be bigger and better than ever

Cameron Lang, (left) poses with his brothers Casey Lang and Colton Lang and their father Scotty Lang while volunteering at 100 Mile’s first Heavy Metal Rocks program in 2019. (Photo submitted)
Heavy Metal Rocks prepares alumni for professional world

Casey Lang got a new perspective from the class

(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’

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Former University of British Columbia student Stephanie Hale, 22. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff Bassett
Human Rights Tribunal to hear complaint against UBC Okanagan for ‘mishandling’ sexual assault report

Stephanie Hale did not return to campus after the student she alleges attacked her was cleared of wrongdoing

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman’s restaurant is located in the tiny community of Field, which relies on tourism

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Most Read