BC man sentenced to life in prison for 16 years without parole for killing Abbotsford teenager
Gabriel Klein was sentenced to life imprisonment for the second-degree murder of 13-year-old Letisha Reimer in 2016, with no parole for 16 years.
In the sentencing on Wednesday morning, the Deputy Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Heather Holmes, also sentenced Klein to seven years’ imprisonment on charges against Remer’s friend (known throughout the case as “EI”) severely attacked and served his sentence at the same time.
Klein, 26, also earned 7 years of points for his service while awaiting trial.
The prosecution argued at the sentencing hearing last month that Klein should serve at least 18 years in prison before applying for release, and his lawyer said that the eligibility for parole should be set at 12 years.
Reimer’s father spoke at the sentencing hearing in June and expressed doubts whether Klein would receive an appropriate sentence for the damage his daughter’s death caused to his family.
Klein was diagnosed with schizophrenia within a few months after stabbing the girl several times, but was denied criminal responsibility due to a mental disorder.
Holmes ruled that Klein could Pacific Agency, The Criminal Treatment Center in Abbotsford, where he can get better mental illness medical services. However, she said that she did not make a formal recommendation on where Klein should be placed because she said that if the Pacific Institute has limited space, this might suggest that Klein should be prioritized over others.
Holmes said in the sentencing that Klein’s moral culpability was high, not only affecting his victims and their families and friends, but also undermining the sense of security of the school community.
“Victim impact statements, and there are many more, clearly show that she is seen as a very special person, happy, full of laughter, calm and self-confidence, kind and caring, generous as a volunteer, loyal to her family, beautiful soul, With a beautiful smile, it’s fun to get along with, willing to be stupid, full of energy in unbearable irony,” Holmes said.
“The impact of losing her is multifaceted, extensive and far-reaching.”
Holmes said that the aggravating circumstances of this case were “many” and “very important.” She said that there were two victims, they were children, and the far-reaching impact on the victim. In one case, the impact on the victim affected her sentencing decision.
She also pointed out that the attack occurred in a school, “a place where society hopes to be a safe haven.”
Klein’s family history and his “relatively” young age at the time of the attack were considered to be a mitigating factor.
Holmes ordered Klein to provide DNA samples for analysis, and he would not be able to possess guns or ammunition for life.
Holmes also ordered Klein and EI not to communicate in any form.
Kleins’ lawyer Martin Peters said Holmes made a careful and balanced decision and agreed that her ruling was “fair.”
Peters said: “He will stay in jail for a long time, and, you know, if he is not a model prisoner, he will stay in jail.”
“He is serving life imprisonment, and life imprisonment does mean life imprisonment unless the parole board determines that the risk of you re-offending is small and you need to be released.”
Family members call for review of the judicial system
Reimer’s mother, Ellie Reimer, said in a statement after the hearing that although no amount of prison time could bring her daughter back, she expressed gratitude for the court’s decision.
Allie Reimer said: “This is a long and arduous journey, made more difficult due to the whim of criminals, but the love of family, friends and complete strangers has helped ease our burden.”
She called on the government to review the court system to ensure that victims will not be traumatized again when they go through legal proceedings.
“Letisha has always wanted to help, so if all of this can bring any benefit, let us improve our community, help others, and work hard to ensure that similar tragedies do not happen again.”
Ellie Reimer also called on the media to “do better” and said that there is no need to replay the video clips of Reimer’s last moments.