British Columbia

Lawyer for man who stabbed high school girls says psychosis caused memory 'inconsistencies'

A lawyer for a man convicted of stabbing two high school students in Abbotsford, B.C., says his client didn't have the capacity to understand what he did was wrong because of a mental disorder.

Gabriel Klein believed he was stabbing a witch and a zombie, lawyer tells court

Gabriel Klein, captured on surveillance video in November 2016, hours before allegedly stabbing two female students at a high school in Abbotsford, B.C. Klein has been charged with second-degree murder and aggravated assault. (IHIT/Twitter)

A lawyer for a man convicted of stabbing two high school students in Abbotsford, B.C., says his client didn't have the capacity to understand what he did was wrong because of a mental disorder.

Gabriel Klein was convicted of second-degree murder and aggravated assault in March for the 2016 attack that killed 13-year-old Letisha Reimer and injured her friend.

The court has heard Klein has schizophrenia and his lawyer Martin Peters is arguing in the B.C. Supreme Court that he should not be held criminally responsible for the crimes.

Peters says in closing arguments that Klein believed he was stabbing a witch and a zombie with maggots coming out of its back, not two girls.

The Crown alleges Klein's recollection and testimony about what happened has been inconsistent and unreliable, however Peters says that Klein's mental disorder affects his memory.

Letisha Reimer, 13, died after being stabbed at a school in Abbotsford, B.C. (Ulrich Reimer/Facebook)

Peters says there is general agreement among expert witnesses that schizophrenia and memories arising from psychotic events cause deficits in working memory.

"Inconsistencies, contradictions and imprecision in recollection of psychotic episodes is not unusual and expected,'' Peters says.

Klein joined the final arguments via video after the court was adjourned in the morning because he said he was ill.

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