Letisha Reimer, 13, was killed Nov. 1, 2016 in a stabbing at Abbotsford Senior Secondary. (Facebook photo)

Man knew repeated stabbing could kill girl at Abbotsford school, Crown says

Closing arguments begin at trial of Gabriel Klein in death of 13-year-old Letisha Reimer

Anger, not a mental disorder, was part of the intent behind a man’s actions when he stabbed a student to death with a hunting knife inside an Abbotsford high school, a Crown attorney said during closing arguments Monday.

Rob Macgowan said evidence presented at trial established beyond a reasonable doubt that Gabriel Klein stabbed Letisha Reimer 14 times with such force that he had to have known she would likely die.

The B.C. Supreme Court trial heard Klein, who was then 21, walked into Abbotsford Secondary School on Nov. 1, 2016, and stabbed Reimer’s friend before turning on her as the girls sat on chairs in the rotunda.

He has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the death of the 13-year-old girl and aggravated assault in the wounding of her friend whose name is protected by a publication ban.

READ MORE: In surprise move, defence calls no witnesses in trial of man charged in Abbotsford student’s death

The trial earlier heard that Klein’s defence would be that he is not criminally responsible because of a mental disorder but Macgowan said that is no longer the case.

Both the Crown and the defence have agreed the only verdicts are either that Klein is guilty of second-degree murder or manslaughter, he told Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes.

Klein had been held at a forensic psychiatric hospital since the attack, but he was deemed mentally fit to stand trial. Holmes allowed him to stay there instead of being transferred to a pre-trial centre so he could continue being treated for schizophrenia, auditory hallucinations and paranoid delusions.

“The evidence before you established that Mr. Klein, at the time of the stabbings, was angry, that he was desperate and hopeless and that he was capable of and in fact was contemplating drastic violent action in the hours before the stabbings,” MacGowan told Holmes, who is hearing the case without a jury.

On the whole of the evidence, the brutality of the killings and Klein’s behaviour before and after the attack, it can’t be assumed that his actions were “the product of a disordered mind,” MacGowan said.

“An unreasonable or irrational intent is nonetheless an intent,” he said.

He said a partial defence of intoxication “lacks an air of reality” and that alcohol Klein may have consumed before the attack was not enough for him to be unaware of the natural consequences of his actions.

The program co-ordinator of the Lookout Shelter where Klein stayed before the stabbings testified in October that he demanded she call his mother in Alberta and he became angry when his mother wanted contact with him only by email.

Andrea Desjarlais said Klein also demanded the shelter immediately get him a bus ticket to Edmonton but when she again explained that would not be possible right away, he banged on lockers where clients store their belongings and she heard what she thought was him kicking the bathroom door from the inside.

After the stabbings, Klein told a psychiatrist who assessed him in an emergency room that she should record their conversation because his lawyer would mount a defence that he was not responsible because of a mental disorder, MacGowan said.

Klein also told the psychiatrist that he hid the knife under his sweater before approaching Reimer and the other girl, who he initially thought were monsters but then realized they were girls but continued the attack, MacGowan said.

The unnamed girl who was stabbed told the court in a video statement played in October that she was writing out Christian music lyrics while Reimer took photos to post on social media when they saw someone “mean” approaching them.

She said she ran into a classroom and only remembers Reimer screaming, not the pain from her stab wounds to the right side of her chest, left shoulder, right middle finger and eye.

The court was shown a video taken by a student from the third floor overlooking the rotunda, where a man was seen repeatedly stabbing a screaming girl on the floor, then the attacker walked backwards away from her and the knife fell to the floor.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

McCallum declares Feb. 1, 2020 RCMP ‘Appreciation Day’ in Surrey

This year is the centennial anniversary of the national police force

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

Cloverdale stamp club looking for new members

Surrey-based group meets every second and fourth Monday of the month

Locke calls for brake on Surrey policing plan, says First Nations not consulted

Surrey City Councillor Brenda Locke wants immediate suspension of city’s policing transition process

Surrey RCMP ask for help finding 18-year-old David Talero

Police say he was last seen on Jan. 20 at about 10:47 a.m. in 13400 block of 108th Avenue

VIDEO: Feds look to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Party bus door fault for years ahead of Langley woman’s death: Coroner

Tuesday report classifed Chelsea James’ death accidental, but was critical of bus inspection process

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Bystander who tried to help dog being attacked not liable for its death: B.C. tribunal

Owner of dog killed tried to get $5,000 in damages from man who tried to save it

INFOGRAPHIC: See how fast your B.C. city grew in 2019

The province’s fastest-growing municipalities were located on Vancouver Island

Landowner hearings begin for Trans Mountain expansion in Alberta

Detailed route talks start in Spruce Grove, in B.C. communities soon

Alessia Cara to host and perform at 2020 Juno Awards

Multi-platinum Canadian singer-songwriter also up for six awards, including Artist of the Year

Most Read