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Sentencing hearing scheduled for Abbotsford school killer

Proceedings on June 23 and 25 will determine parole eligibility for Gabriel Klein
Letisha Reimer, 13, was killed Nov. 1, 2016 in a stabbing at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled Wednesday (June 23) and Friday (June 25) for the man who stabbed Abbotsford high school student Letisha Reimer to death in 2016 and seriously injured her friend.

Gabriel Klein appears in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.

Klein was convicted in March 2020 of the second-degree murder of Reimer, 13, and the aggravated assault of her 14-year-old friend at Abbotsford Senior Secondary on Nov. 1, 2016.

RELATED: Gabriel Klein guilty of 2nd-degree murder in Abbotsford high school stabbing

Second-degree murder comes with an automatic life sentence, but a hearing is required to determine parole eligibility, which can range from 10 to 25 years.

Klein’s sentencing hearing was previously scheduled for September 2020, but instead he was granted a “not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder” (NCRMD) hearing.

The NCRMD defence was not presented during his trial.

His lawyer argued that Klein, who has schizophrenia, should not be held criminally responsible for the crimes because he did not have the capacity to appreciate the consequences of his actions or understand that they were wrong.

Klein testified that he stabbed the two girls because he thought one was a zombie and the other was a witch.

But Justice Heather Holmes ruled in April of this year that Klein should be held criminally responsible, and his prior conviction was to stand.

RELATED: Second-degree murder conviction stands for Abbotsford school killer

It is not known yet whether Holmes will give her ruling on parole eligibility at the conclusion of the two-day sentencing hearing on Friday or whether she will reserve her decision for a later date, as is often the case.

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Gabriel Klein was convicted of second-degree murder in the stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary on Nov. 1, 2016. (Sketch by Felicity Don)

Vikki Hopes

About the Author: Vikki Hopes

I have been a journalist for almost 40 years, and have been at the Abbotsford News since 1991.
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