A man convicted of stabbing a high school student to death in Abbotsford, B.C., four years ago says he began hearing voices in his head years before the murder.
Gabriel Klein is testifying at his own hearing in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.
His lawyer has told the court that Klein is not criminally responsible for the crimes because he had a mental disorder.
Klein was convicted in March of second-degree murder in the stabbing death of 13-year-old Letisha Reimer and aggravated assault in the injuring of her friend in an attack in the rotunda of Abbotsford Secondary School.
Klein told the court Monday that over the years, he became paranoid that he was being followed by shadows, by the RCMP and by the Hells Angels.
He said a good voice would tell him to do good things and a bad voice would tell him to do bad things, and if he didn’t comply they took control of his emotions.
“I’ve had some strange disturbances in my life thinking aliens are watching me, mocking me, things like that. It seems weird to me now because I’ve been on the proper medication for a couple of years,” Klein told the court.
“I had a strange way of thinking.”
Klein told the court he has schizophrenia and is on anti-psychotic medication.
He was 21 at the time of the stabbings, and said the voices began when he was 15 and got worse by age 17 or 18.
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Klein moved to B.C. from Alberta by hopping on a freight train because he was paranoid he was being followed, he testified.
He said he smoked about a gram of marijuana every day, consumed alcohol and also used methamphetamine.
On the day of the attack, Klein said he wanted to email his mother because he was suicidal and wanted to say goodbye. He felt like his brain was swelling, he said.
The shelter where he was staying directed him to the public library, connected by the rotunda to the high school, to use a computer, he said.
The voices were talking to him that morning, he said.
“It feels like If I disobey the negative voice, I get emotionally tortured,” he said, adding that meant he would feel sadness, depression and anger.
On his way, he screamed, yelled and walked into traffic. He took three to four shots of rum but no drugs that day, he said.
“After I crossed the road and all the vehicles stopped it felt like my emotions were pushing me, I felt like I lost control of my body and my mind.”
When he arrived at the library, he said all the computers were occupied so he sat in a chair near the door in the rotunda to wait.
“As soon as I sat down, I looked to my left. I saw two people that I describe as monsters,” he said.
One looked like a witch with a deformed face and the other looked like a zombie with maggots coming out of her back, he said.
“The voice in my head was telling me to kill, kill, kill,” Klein said.
“It happened so quickly.”
When the attack finished, the voice told him he was going to hell, he said.
Klein’s defence lawyer has concluded his questions and the Crown prosecutors are scheduled to begin cross-examination Monday afternoon.