A man accused of stabbing one teen to death and wounding another one in a 2016 attack at an Abbotsford school is schizophrenic, and his psychosis has worsened in the past two weeks, a psychiatrist said in court Wednesday.
Gabriel Klein is alleged to have stabbed two Grade 9 students at Abbotsford Senior Secondary in November 2016. Letisha Reimer, a 13-year-old student, was killed in the attack, while the other victim survived.
Coverage of Gabriel Klein on Globalnews.ca:
Today, it’s an open question as to whether he’s mentally fit to stand trial.
Dr. Marcel Hediger said Klein is schizophrenic, that his state has worsened in recent days, and that he continues to hear voices.
Klein, he said, has said the CIA tried to kill him, that prison guards tried to poison him, and that he’s heard voices telling him to rape and hurt another patient.
Hedigar is concerned that the stress of a trial could lead to a risk of violence in the courtroom.
The psychiatrist has said that Klein’s paranoia has improved a little.
He’s undergoing a change in medication and it could be a month before it’s determined whether he’s making any progress.
But time is short — Klein’s trial is expected to start on May 7.
Defence lawyer Martin Peters said if he’s found unfit, that will stop the trial.
“He would be remanded to the Forensic [Psychiatric] Hospital,” he said.
“Within 30 days the review board is required to do an assessment and if they find he’s fit they will send him back here.
“So it becomes a bit of a yo-yo process.”
The matter of Klein’s mental fitness will be discussed in New Westminster Supreme Court again on Thursday.
Lawyers for both sides will make submissions.
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