An artist’s sketch depicts Gabriel Klein in court during his fitness hearing on Thursday at B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. (Sketch by Sheila Allan)

Judge to decide Friday if fatal B.C. school stabbing suspect is fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein could have trial of Abbotsford case delayed because of mental health issues

The judge in the hearing to determine whether accused killer Gabriel Klein is fit to stand trial will give her decision on Friday morning.

The ruling is scheduled to take place at 10:30 a.m. in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.

The decision will follow proceedings that took place yesterday (Wednesday) and today.

Dr. Marcel Hediger was the only person to testify. His evidence yesterday in court included that Klein is schizophrenic, “intensely paranoid,” hears voices on a daily basis, suffers from “disorganized thinking” and experiences hallucinations.

He said he believes that Klein will have difficulty in “sustaining his ability to closely follow trial proceedings” throughout the four to eight weeks that the trial is expected to take.

Hediger also testified that Klein is currently undergoing a new medication regimen and it could take some time for his body to adapt and stabilize.

In today’s proceedings, lawyers for both sides gave their submissions.

Defence lawyer Martin Peters said his “salient concerns” are whether Klein is able to “conduct a defence” and whether he is able to communicate with his lawyers.

He also is concerned that Klein will be unable to follow the proceedings for an extended time.

Crown lawyer Rob Macgowan said the question facing the judge is whether it is “more likely than not that there will be times during the trial that Mr. Klein will meet the criteria for unfitness.”

The judge’s options include declaring Klein either fit or unfit to stand trial, or she could decide to adjourn the fitness hearing to a later date. This would allow more time for Klein to adapt to his new medication treatment and have further assessments to determine his suitability to stand trial at that time.

Klein is charged with second-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of 13-year-old Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary on Nov. 1, 2016. He is also charged with the aggravated assault of Reimer’s friend (who cannot be named due to a publication ban), who was 14 at the time of the attack.

Klein was scheduled to go to trial May 7, but the fitness hearing was held after his lawyer drew attention to his client’s worrisome mental state.

Just Posted

Surrey’s Amazing Tutors donates hundreds of ‘Sunshine Food Bags’ to those less fortunate

For three years, volunteers and students have been putting together donation packages

Junior Team Canada brings home gold to the Lower Mainland, again

In a 9-4 victory over Switzerland, a Langley-based curling team earned its 2nd straight world title

Surrey-Langley curlers in the running again for gold

Junior men’s team out of Langley hopes to defend its world title Sunday, going up against Switzerland

Surrey Central SkyTrain Station upgrades completed

It’s the seventh station along Expo Line to see upgrades completed. Construction began in March 2017

Semiahmoo Trail students surpass Coldest Night fundraising goal

Rocco Forte and his team are third-year participants in Saturday’s Coldest Night of the Year walk

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

Have you heard the legend of Shuswaggi, the Shuswap Lake monster?

Witness accounts as old as 1904, and as recent as 2018, place a creature in the lake’s depths

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

People gather for funeral of seven children killed in fast-moving Halifax fire

Traditional portion of the service will be followed by words from community members

B.C. weavers to help Alaska Native project honouring survivors of violence

Dozens of Chilkat and Ravenstail weavers from all over North America will be weaving 5-inch-by-5-inch squares

B.C. skip Sarah Wark and team eliminated at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Nontheless pretty impressive stuff from the 24th-ranked team in the country

Twilight Drive-In announces open season start date

Opening weekend will showcase a double feature with Aquaman at 7:15 p.m. and Glass at 9:50 p.m.

Pope’s sex abuse prevention summit explained

It’s A high-stakes meeting designed to impress on Catholic bishops the global problem

Most Read