Closing statements to begin in trial of man charged with Abbotsford school stabbing

Defence lawyer expected to argue that Gabriel Klein was ‘not criminally responsible’

Lawyers in the trial of the man accused of the 2016 fatal stabbing at Abbotsford Senior Secondary begin closing submissions today (Monday) in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.

Closing statements are expected to last two or three days. The justice could decide to render her verdict on the day that submissions end or set aside a later date to do that.

Gabriel Klein, 24, is charged with the second-degree murder of 13-year-old Letisha Reimer on Nov. 1, 2016, and the aggravated assault of a 14-year-old girl (whose name is protected by a publication ban).

Klein was expected to take the stand last Monday, but in a surprise move, lawyer Martin Peters told the court that he would be calling no evidence in his client’s defence.

He could not discuss the reasons for that decision, due to attorney-client privilege.

This meant that neither Klein nor any other witnesses took the stand for the defence, and the trial then moved to the next stage – closing submissions.

The Crown goes first, and then the defence responds.

The defence is expected to argue that Klein is not criminally responsible (NCR) for the crimes due to a mental disorder.

Crown lawyer Rob Macgowan had said in his opening submissions on the first day of the trial on Oct. 1 that neither side is disputing that Klein stabbed the two girls.

The issue to be determined is whether Klein had the capacity to appreciate his actions and know right from wrong at the time of the offence.

Klein, who was previously diagnosed with schizophrenia, was found unfit to stand trial on three separate occasions before the BC Review Board ruled in January of this year that he was then fit.

An individual who receives an NCR ruling falls under the mandate of the BC Review Board, which conducts an assessment to determine whether he should be detained in a hospital, discharged in the community under certain conditions, or discharged without conditions.

Watch for more later today.

READ MORE: No defence witnesses in trial of man charged in killing of Abbotsford student

READ MORE: Man agitated in hospital ER two days before Abbotsford student fatally stabbed, court hears

Report an error or send us your tips, photos and video.

Vikki Hopes | Reporter

@VikkiHopes

Send Vikki an email.
Like the Abbotsford News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police looking for missing man, 67

‘Family and police are concerned for his wellbeing at this time’

UPDATED: Surrey RCMP arrest six youths after fight involving airsoft pistol in Newton

Police chased up to 30 youths, arresting six, after they scrambled from a fight behind Kennedy Trail elementary

Staff member at Surrey long-term care facility diagnosed with COVID-19

Fraser Health said a rapid response team is on site

Thanksgiving Food Drive ‘the most successful ever’

More than 21,000 pounds of food collected for Sources Food Bank in South Surrey/White Rock

COVID and smoke delays football season for North Surrey, other clubs

‘It’s going to look a lot different this season,’ says association president Jean McPherson

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

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

B.C. marriage annulled because husband was unable to have sex with wife

Husband did not disclose any sexual health concerns to his wife prior to marriage

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. VOTES 2020: B.C. Liberals vow to eliminate sales tax for a year

From 7% to zero, then back in at 3% to stimulate economy

The holiday everyone needs this year: Vote for your favourite in Fat Bear Week 2020

Voters will get to decide who gets to take home this year’s most coveted prize

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Fraser Health confirms expanded COVID-19 testing services coming

Long lines, several days waiting list as demand for testing surges in region

Most Read