Thursday, October 22, 2020
ADVT 
National

Killer to argue he's not criminally responsible

Darpan News Desk The Canadian Press, 17 Sep, 2020
  • Killer to argue he's not criminally responsible

A lawyer for a man who fatally stabbed a high school student four years ago in Abbotsford, B.C., says he will argue in court that the man is not criminally responsible because of a mental disorder.

The announcement comes just a week before Gabriel Klein was to be sentenced for the second-degree murder of 13-year-old Letisha Reimer and aggravated assault of her friend.

Defence lawyer Martin Peters says his client has changed his mind and wants to exercise his right to raise the issue of a possible mental disorder after he was found guilty in March.

Peters says he was concerned about completing the case before addressing the issue of whether there should be an exception to criminal liability because of his client's mental illness.

He says Crown lawyers told a B.C. Supreme Court judge they were blindsided by the news during a recent meeting and the sentencing hearing set for Sept. 23 has been cancelled.

Instead, Peters says they will meet Sept. 24 to fix a date to argue the claim of not criminally responsible.

Peters says a defendant has the right to raise issues of mental illness either during the trial or after a verdict.

"It's very similar to entrapment. You can raise mental disorder or entrapment as part of the trial ... or you can wait and see if the Crown can actually prove their case, which (it) did, and then raise it post-verdict."

During the trial, Peters had argued that Klein did not mean to kill Reimer and urged Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes to find him guilty of manslaughter. Peters argued there was reasonable doubt related to the murder charge because his client exhibited odd behaviour and mental distress beforehand, suggesting he did not intentionally plan to kill anyone.

Crown attorney Rob Macgowan said in his closing argument that Klein faked symptoms of a mental disorder after his arrest in order to be found not criminally responsible of the crimes and even told a psychiatrist who assessed him at a hospital that his lawyer would use that as a defence.

Holmes said there was no evidence that the strange behaviour and sounds exhibited by Klein in the hours before the attack indicated a mental condition, but that doesn't mean they were "deliberately feigned."

MORE National ARTICLES

New West police arrest suspect in relation to Pier Park fire

New West police arrest suspect in relation to Pier Park fire

The male suspect has since been released from custody on a number of conditions.

New West police arrest suspect in relation to Pier Park fire

B.C. unveils $1.5B economic recovery plan

B.C. unveils $1.5B economic recovery plan

Premier John Horgan's government has also announced funding for the tourism industry, food security, climate action, and technology and innovation.

B.C. unveils $1.5B economic recovery plan

B.C. mental health minister not seeking re-election

B.C. mental health minister not seeking re-election

Judy Darcy, who represents New Westminster in the legislature, says in a statement that it's been an "enormous privilege" to serve as B.C.'s first-ever minister of mental health and addictions.

B.C. mental health minister not seeking re-election

Vancouver records increase in crime

Vancouver records increase in crime

Vancouver police say violent crime increased by more than five per cent and was largely driven by a rise in serious assaults.

Vancouver records increase in crime

Smoky conditions expected to improve in B.C.

Smoky conditions expected to improve in B.C.

Anyone with chronic underlying health conditions or respiratory infections, including COVID-19, is advised to limit or postpone physical activity outdoors until conditions improve.

Smoky conditions expected to improve in B.C.

Suspicious activity on CRA accounts after attack

Suspicious activity on CRA accounts after attack

The treasury says the previously-announced attacks targeted CRA accounts and GCKey, an online portal through which Canadians access employment insurance and immigration services.

Suspicious activity on CRA accounts after attack

PrevNext