British Columbia

Closing arguments delayed by illness of man who stabbed Abbotsford high school students

Final arguments in a hearing for a man who stabbed two high school students in Abbotsford, B.C., have been postponed because the man is ill.

Gabriel Klein was convicted in the 2016 death of Letisha Reimer

Letisha Reimer, 13, died after being stabbed at school in Abbotsford, B.C., in 2016. (Ulrich Reimer/Facebook)

Final arguments in a hearing for a man who stabbed two high school students in Abbotsford, B.C., have been postponed because the man is ill.

Gabriel Klein was convicted last March of second-degree murder and aggravated assault 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 is arguing in B.C. Supreme Court that he should not be held criminally responsible for the crimes because of a mental disorder.

Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes says she wanted to ask more about Klein's condition but was "extremely anxious'' about his presence in the courtroom because he was ill.

She asked the sheriff to return Klein to the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital immediately and suggested the hearing be suspended while he is in transit so she could discuss next steps with defence and Crown lawyers.

Holmes says no one who is sick should be in any courthouse.

"We don't bring people into the courtroom if they're ill,'' she said, adding that it doesn't matter if the proper paperwork has been completed or not.

"He should not be here.''

Technical difficulties with an audio feed meant that Klein's lawyer, Martin Peters, could not be heard when asked to elaborate on Klein's condition.

Gabriel Klein, captured on surveillance video in November 2016, hours before stabbing two female students at a high school in Abbotsford, B.C. In March 2020, Klein was convicted of second-degree murder and aggravated assault. (IHIT/Twitter)

The court arranged to reconvene at 2 p.m. PT Wednesday with Klein participating by video if he was feeling well enough.

In November, Klein told the court he lost control of his thoughts and feelings on the day of the stabbings.

Klein testified that he saw a witch and a zombie with maggots coming out of its back, not the two girls.

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