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

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

Moira Mercer spent her summer riding her e-bike around Cowichan Lake and beyond, collecting any empties she found along the way. (Submitted)
Lake Cowichan 2020 in review — conclusion

What were your top stories from 2020?

Staff meetings can be difficult when everyone has his own agenda. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Garden additions at request of staff

I’ll sow the catnip in flats on the seed table inside

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson column: Snowballs fights and dead spiders

Even if it doesn’t end up how we hope, it’s the trying that matters most.

Cowichan Tribes members line up at a drive-up clinic on Wednesday, Jan. 13 to receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the region. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
BCAFN condems racism against Cowichan Tribes after COVID-19 outbreak

“Any one of us could do everything right and still catch the virus”: Regional Chief Terry Teegee.

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

A still from surveillance footage showing a confrontation in the entranceway at Dolly’s Gym on Nicol Street on Friday morning. (Image submitted)
Troublemaker in Nanaimo fails at fraud attempt, slams door on business owner’s foot

VIDEO: Suspect causes pain and damage in incident downtown Friday morning

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Most Read