Letisha Reimer, 13, was fatally stabbed at Abbotsford Senior Secondary on Nov. 1, 2016. (Facebook photo)

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

Lawyers for the man convicted of killing Letisha Reimer of Abbotsford in 2016 will again argue at a hearing next week that he is not criminally responsible (NCR) for the act, according to a spokesman for Reimer’s family.

Dave Teixeira posted on Twitter on Thursday morning (Sept. 17) that Reimer’s family has been notified that an NCR hearing for Gabriel Klein will take place on Sept. 24.

“Where’s the justice?” Teixeira posted.

Klein was found guilty in March of second-degree murder for the killing of Reimer, 13, at Abbotsford Senior Secondary on Nov. 1, 2016 and the aggravated assault of her friend, 14.

His sentencing hearing was scheduled to take place Sept. 23 and 24 at B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.

During Klein’s trial, defence lawyer Martin Peters had argued that Klein was suffering from a mental illness at the time of the attack and should be found guilty of manslaughter.

But Justice Heather Holmes said there was no evidence to show that he was suffering from a mental disturbance when he stabbed the two girls, and she convicted him of murder.

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

There were numerous delays in bringing the matter to trial after Klein was initially found in April 2018 to be unfit to stand trial.

During hearings leading up to that decision, the court heard that Klein had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, was “intensely paranoid,” hearing voices on a daily basis, suffering from “disorganized thinking” and experiencing hallucinations.

The BC Review Board then held hearings in July and September 2018 to review the matter and determined that Klein was still not fit for trial.

But at a hearing in January 2019, the review board was told that Klein was no longer hearing voices and was able to focus better since starting a new medication regimen.

The BC Review Board then determined that Klein was fit to stand trial. Those proceedings began in October 2019.

RELATED: Accused Abbotsford school killer found fit to stand trial

Peters initially indicated that he would use an NCR defence during the trial, but he announced in December 2019 that he was not calling any evidence on Klein’s behalf, and he did not use the NCR defence in his closing arguments.

It’s not clear why an NCR hearing has now been scheduled.

An NCR ruling means that a judge believes an individual did not have the capacity to appreciate his actions and know right from wrong at the time of their offence.

Individuals who receive such a ruling fall under the mandate of the BC Review Board, which conducts an assessment to determine whether the person should be detained in a hospital, discharged in the community under certain conditions or discharged without conditions.



vhopes@abbynews.com

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Gabriel Klein sits in the prisoner’s dock during the first day of his trial on Oct. 7 in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. (Sketch by Felicity Don)

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