Court sees graphic video as trial of man accused in Abbotsford high school murder begins

Click to play video 'Trial of Gabriel Klein begins' Trial of Gabriel Klein begins
The trial has begun for the man accused of stabbing 13- year- old Letisha Reimer to death in her Abbotsford school in 2016. Grace Ke reports.

The trial of a man accused of stabbing an 13-year-old girl to death and injuring her friend at an Abbotsford high school three years ago began in New Westminster on Monday.

Gabriel Klein entered a not-guilty plea to charges of second-degree murder and aggravated assault in the killing of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary School on Nov. 1, 2016.

Klein has been found fit to stand trial, but his defence says it will argue that he is not criminally responsible by reason of a mental disorder.

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Crown prosecutor Rob Macgowan began his arguments by telling the court Letisha died of 14 stab wounds.

The other victim, whose name is under a publication ban, suffered four stab wounds — one to an eyelid, and one that collapsed a lung, he told the court.

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Macgowan also showed several pieces of video to the court.

One recording allegedly shows Klein entering an Abbotsford liquor store and stealing alcohol on the day of the killing. A second video depicts a man Crown says was Klein entering a Cabela’s outdoor store and stealing a knife.

Crown also showed a disturbing six-second video shot by a student from the third floor of the school’s rotunda it says shows Klein stabbing Letisha, who can be heard screaming.

The court heard from several witnesses, including an Abbotsford police officer, who produced the knife used to kill Letisha, along with a black jacket and a knife holder.

Krysten Montague, a Canada Border Services Agency officer, testified that Klein had been picked up by authorities for trying to illegally cross the U.S. border on Oct. 30.

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In the course of a 20-minute interview, Klein, who appeared clean-cut and well-spoken, said he had no ID and had crossed the border by accident, Montague testified.

He told her he was looking for work in the poultry industry, but had no money and was homeless, she said.

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Montague said she offered to connect Klein with a local shelter, but he declined and said he would go ask people for money at Tim Hortons.

Klein has been held in custody at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam, known as Colony Farm, since the killing.

–With files from Grace Ke and the Canadian Press