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

Verdict delayed for man charged with killing Letisha Reimer

Judge’s ruling against Gabriel Klein moved from February to March

The verdict in the trial of the man who killed Abbotsford high school student Letisha Reimer in 2016 has been delayed until March 6.

The decision against Gabriel Klein, 24, was initially due to be rendered on Feb. 21 in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster but has been postponed to give Justice Heather Holmes more time to consider the evidence.

During closing arguments in December, both lawyers agreed that Klein was responsible for killing Reimer by stabbing her 14 times while she sat in the rotunda of Abbotsford Senior Secondary on Nov. 1, 2016.

The lawyers also both agreed that Klein was guilty of the aggravated assault of a 14-year-old girl (whose name is under a publication ban) who was also stabbed by him.

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

However, defence lawyer Martin Peters said Klein should be found guilty of manslaughter in Reimer’s death because he did not intend to kill her.

Peters said Klein, who stole alcohol from a liquor store and a hunting knife from a Cabela’s store in the hours before the attack, committed the thefts because he wanted to get drunk and use the weapon to stab a police officer in hopes of triggering a suicide-by-cop scenario.

Peters said Klein was experiencing a “mental dysfunction” and he thought Reimer was a “shape-shifting witch” and the other girl was a “monster with maggots coming out of her back.”

But Crown lawyer Rob Macgowan said a second-degree murder conviction would be more fitting because Klein – who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia – was not experiencing a mental disorder at the time of the attacks.

Peters had been expected to call evidence supporting an argument of “not criminally responsible (NCR) due to a mental disorder,” but he announced in court in early December that he was not calling any evidence on Klein’s behalf, and he did not use the NCR defence in his closing arguments.

RELATED: Judge to rule in February in case of murdered Abbotsford high school student

A conviction for second-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence, but parole eligibility can range from 10 to 25 years and is determined by the judge.

There is no minimum sentence for manslaughter (unless committed by a firearm, in which case the minimum is four years), but any term – including life imprisonment – is an option for the judge.

– with files from The Canadian Press

Supreme Court

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

 

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)

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Child falls down Bridal Veil Falls near Chilliwack, crews on scene

An 11-year-old boy fell over the falls about 25 to 30 feet and has suffered a head injury

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

Man shot dead in east Abbotsford suburbs

Integrated Homicide Investigative Team called to investigate

Popular retired UFV therapy dog passes away

Mac the Therapy Dog consoled countless students and staff, as well as wildfire victims

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Fraser Valley loses the Keith Wilson Waver as Ron Hupper passes away

Hupper brought smiles to the faces of hundreds of people traveling Chilliwack’s Keith Wilson Road

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m. near King George SkyTrain station

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Four-vehicle collision snarls eastbound highway traffic in Fraser Valley

Collision west of Lickman Road on Highway 1 includes three vehicles plus motorcycle

Most Read