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

City buys century-old East Delta church

St. Stephen’s Church to be renovated and restored, used as community services and programming space

Surrey councillors wary of ‘streamlining’ environmental development permits process

Mayor Doug McCallum notes B.C. government only agency that can issue environment permit

Metro Vancouver Homeless Count finds 17 in Delta

3,634 homeless people were identified across the region during the count on March 3 and 4, 2020

Oh baby, what a birthday gift: $2.8M raised to help Surrey boy with rare disease

‘We are very thankful to everybody,’ Aryan Deol’s father says

VIDEO: North Delta crash sends nine to hospital

Two vehicles and a pedestrian were involved in the crash on Scott Road Sunday night (Aug. 9)

B.C. records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths

Many of those testing positive were identified by contact tracing for being linked to other confirmed infections

Five B.C. First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

Salmon arrive in larger numbers at Big Bar landslide

Arrival follows historic hihg-water levels that halted migration runs

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

$45K in donations received after couple’s sudden death in Tulameen

Sarah MacDermid, 31, and Casey Bussiere, 37, died August long weekend

Famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer brings movements of joy to Long Beach

Internet-famous dancer is exploring Vancouver Island, visiting the B.C. Legislature and more

Battle of Fairy Creek: blockade launched to save Vancouver Island old-growth

‘Forest Defenders’ occupy road to prevent logging company from reaching Port Renfrew-area watershed

Most Read