The family of a 13-year-old girl stabbed to death at an Abbotsford, B.C. high school shared their heartbreak and loss Wednesday, at a sentencing hearing for their daughter’s killer.
Gabriel Klein was convicted of second-degree murder and found criminally responsible for the fatal stabbing of Letisha Reimer in November 2016, and for injuring her friend.
“I hope for this that you never have another moment of peace again in your life and every time you close your eyes, these are the thoughts that fill your brain and you can not get away from these pictures or the sounds of her screams in your head,” Reimer’s mother Eliane read in a victim impact statement.
“He will face jail time, but I feel that justice has failed too many countless times before,” her father Ulrich told the court.
Reimer’s parents’ statements were two of 46 the court is hearing as it decides how much prison time Klein will serve.
Second-degree murder carries a guaranteed life sentence, with no eligibility for parole between 10 and 20 years.
Crown has argued Klein should spend at least 18 years behind bars, calling him a high risk to reoffend violently who should be imprisoned for a “significant” time to ensure public safety.
Defence lawyer Martin Peters argued Klein should be incarcerated for 12 years, saying his client, who is Metis, came from a broken home and was the grandson of a residential school survivor and son of an alcoholic mother.
Klein has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and his defence argued he thought he was attacking a witch and a monster as he stabbed Reimer 14 times and her friend four times in the rotunda of Abbotsford Senior Secondary School.
Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes of the B.C. Supreme Court rejected Klein’s argument that he suffered a mental disorder that made him unable to appreciate the nature of his actions or that they were wrong.
–With files from Rumina Daya and Jon Azpiri