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)

Accused Abbotsford school killer due back in court after psych assessment

Gabriel Klein could possibly be found ‘not criminally responsible’

The latest psychiatric assessment of the man accused of the fatal high school stabbing of Letisha Reimer in Abbotsford in November 2016 is expected to be presented in court today (Monday).

Gabriel Klein, 24, has been on trial in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster since Oct. 7, but the proceedings have been postponed since Nov. 1 to allow time for another assessment to be conducted.

Klein is on trial for the second-degree murder of Reimer and the aggravated assault of a 14-year-old girl (who cannot be named due to a publication ban) on Nov. 1, 2016 at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.

Depending on the arguments presented in court, Klein could be found not criminally responsible (NCR) due to mental illness.

The defence has not yet presented its case in court. But lawyer Rob Macgown, who concluded the Crown’s case on Nov. 1, said in his opening submissions on the first day of the trial 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 has been 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 now fit.

An NCR ruling at the conclusion of the trial would mean that Klein would fall 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.

The trial is expected to conclude in late December.

READ MORE: Accused Abbotsford school killer found fit to stand trial

READ MORE: Man charged in fatal Abbotsford school stabbing to use ‘not criminally responsible’ defence, trial hears

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