PORT COQUITLAM, B.C. — The British Columbia Review Board has found a man mentally fit to stand trial in the death of a 13-year-old girl at a high school in Abbotsford more than two years ago.
The board heard Tuesday that Gabriel Klein's mental health has improved during his stay at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam.
A B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled last year that Klein was unfit to stand trial on charges of second-degree murder and aggravated assault.
A second girl was injured at Abbotsford Secondary School in November 2016.
Klein, who's in his early 20s, has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and previously told the board he was plagued by voices every hour of the day.
Klein's lawyer, Martin Peters, says his client no longer constantly hears voices, which will be critical to listening to evidence and giving instructions during a trial.
"He is now able to, for most of each day, exist without voices screaming in his head and telling him, directing him to do things, and interrupting his train of thought," he said outside the hearing.
Dave Teixeira, a spokesman for the dead girl's family, says he wasn't surprised how quickly Klein's diagnosis has changed.
"I think anyone who suffers from mental illness and gets the help that they need are going to show improvements. He certainly was far more articulate today than we have heard in his trials or in previous hearings."
(News 1130, The Canadian Press)
The Canadian Press