No evidence from defence in Abbotsford high school stabbing

Defence calls no evidence

The defence lawyer for a man accused in the stabbing death of a 13-year-old girl in Abbotsford says no evidence will be called in his defence.

The move surprised Crown prosecutors and drew murmurs from the court gallery.

Twenty-four-year-old Gabriel Klein, who has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and aggravated assault, occasionally looked up at the ceiling, down at the floor and back into the gallery from the prisoner's box.

"We won't be calling any evidence," his lawyer, Martin Peters said Monday, in place of the opening argument he was expected to deliver. "The defence case is now closed."

Letisha Reimer was killed in the attack and another girl whose identity is protected by a publication ban was injured.

The court had previously heard that Klein's defence would be that he is not criminally responsible for the attack because of a mental disorder.

Klein was held in a forensic psychiatric hospital following the stabbings until he was found mentally fit to stand trial earlier this year.

Crown attorney Rob Macgowan said the prosecution was not expecting to begin final arguments Monday and would need more time to prepare.

"Certainly, this comes as somewhat of a surprise to the Crown," he said before the court took a break so the legal teams could discuss possible dates to reconvene.

Closing arguments have now been scheduled to begin Dec. 16. Although two more weeks had been set aside for the trial, Macgowan said arguments should wrap up within three days, "given that the issues in the case have obviously been narrowed significantly."

The trial is being heard by judge alone.

Klein is accused of walking through a public library connected with the Abbotsford Senior Secondary School library and stabbing the girls on Nov. 1, 2016.

The trial has heard that an Abbotsford shelter provided Klein with a map to the library so he could email his mother.

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