COQUITLAM, B.C. — A man with schizophrenia accused of fatally stabbing a 13−year−old girl inside her Abbotsford, B.C., high school says he’s eager to face the charges against him but he still hears voices constantly.
Gabriel Klein, 22, mumbled short answers to questions during a review board hearing at a forensic psychiatric hospital to determine his mental fitness to stand trial.
He wants to have a trial as soon as possible, he said, but added court is "stressful" and he has trouble concentrating because the voices are perpetually distracting him.
"I experience it every day, every hour of the day," said Klein, his eyes glassy and hair unkempt.
Klein is charged with second−degree murder in the death of the teen and aggravated assault for an attack on another Grade 9 girl in November 2016.
A judge ruled the man was unfit to stand trial in April due to his schizophrenia, auditory hallucinations and disordered thinking, and the review board was ordered to reassess his fitness in 90 days.
The board adjourned a hearing in July to get a second opinion on his mental state and reconvened on Thursday. After the hearing, it reserved its decision and will deliver a ruling at a later date.
The Crown, defence and hospital all said Klein is currently unfit to stand trial.
Crown lawyer Michaela Donnelly said she was concerned that Klein might be exaggerating his symptoms to avoid a trial. But she agreed with a psychiatrist who said he needed more treatment for his psychosis before a conclusion could be made about his truthfulness.
Klein told the board he has never faked any symptoms. He is not avoiding jail, he said, but he doesn’t trust the guards, who he believes poisoned him previously.
"They’re working for CSIS," he said. "CSIS wants to poison me."
Psychiatrist Dr. Andrew Kolchak told the board that some voices command Klein to commit acts of violence, such as attacking people in the shower, but he has not obeyed these violent commands in recent months.
The Canadian Press