UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

The BC Review Board has determined that the man accused of the fatal stabbing of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary in 2016 is fit to stand trial.

The board issued its decision on Tuesday afternoon, following a hearing held earlier in the day at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam.

Klein will now have a date set to go back to court, where a judge will make the final determination on Klein’s fitness and whether a date will be set for trial.

He is accused of the second-degree murder of Reimer and the aggravated assault of a 14-year-old girl (whose name is protected by a publication ban).

At his hearing on Tuesday morning, Klein said he no longer hears voices in his head and is able to focus better since starting a new medication regimen last fall.

READ MORE: Man charged in Abbotsford school stabbing found unfit to stand trial

READ MORE: Publication ban lifted on Letisha Reimer’s name

The board also heard from Klein’s psychiatrist and his lawyer.

They were told that, following Klein’s last hearing in September, he was placed on the anti-psychotic drug Clozapine to treat his schizophrenia.

Klein, who in previous hearings was mainly unintelligible in his responses, was today able to fully answer the board’s questions.

He referred to his new medication as a “miracle drug.”

“When I first came to this hospital, I felt enslaved to the voices in my head. The Clozapine makes me feel like I’m not ill anymore,” Klein said.

He said he used to hear four or five voices constantly speaking to him with “pretty derogatory, sometimes uplifting” messages.

Klein said the voices sometimes spoke about aliens and sometimes came from the TV, making it difficult for him to focus on conversations.

Today, Klein was able to accurately answer questions from board members about the court system and what the possible outcome can be for someone charged with a crime.

Dr. Andrew Kolchak, who began treating Klein last fall, said he has no concerns about Klein now standing trial.

He said Klein’s symptoms have greatly diminished, allowing him to engage much better with people and participate in “fairly lengthy” conversations.

Kolchak said he expects that Klein will make continued progress.

One of Klein’s lawyers, Martin Peters, asked the board to find that Klein is now fit to stand trial.

“Mr. Klein is able to focus on what is presented before him, thus able to instruct counsel on what he would like to occur in terms of legal proceedings,” Peters said.

Board members who commented were in agreement that Klein now appears fit to stand trial, saying that his symptoms have lessened, he has a good grasp of his situation, and he is represented by experienced legal counsel.

After the hearing, Dave Teixeira, spokesperson for Letisha Reimer’s family, said the family was relieved that the hearing was quick – lasting less than an hour – and that the matter can now move forward.

“The family is not vengeful. The family is not trying to ensure he’s locked up and the key is thrown away. They want to see justice, whatever that may look like,” he said.

Also speaking after the hearing, Peters said Klein is also eager for the matter to proceed.

“He’s been very clear to Dr. Kolchak and myself that he wants to go to court, he wants to deal with this charge and, like everyone, he wants some finality to this process. He’s a young man. He wants to know what the rest of this process will look like, and where he will serve his time,” Peter said.

Klein was first found unfit to stand trial in April 2018 by a B.C. Supreme Court Justice.

The BC Review Board then held hearings in July and again in September to review the matter, determining that he was still not fit for trial.

They scheduled their next hearing for today to allow Klein more time for treatment to take effect.


@VikkiHopes
vhopes@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Gabriel Klein is charged with the 2016 stabbing death of 13-year-old Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary and the aggravated assault of a 14-year-old girl.

Just Posted

Blaze consumes dwelling in Masset

The Masset Fire Department received the first call around 8 p.m.

All Nations Driving Academy gets $360K boost from province

Terrace-based driving school bridges gap in services for remote northwest B.C. communities

Skeena Watershed reopened for recreational pink and coho

Four sections and tributaries remain closed

Skeena-Bulkley Valley candidates react to finding Trudeau broke ethics law

The election campaign is heating up before the writ has even dropped

VIDEO: Langley Ribfest met with protesters

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral

The exchange includes emotional question from Cooper, and outlook on grief as a child

Toronto activist calling on federal parties to nominate more black candidates

Fewer than 20 black Canadians have been nominated so far, including some Liberal MPs seeking re-election

Most Read