Mental state of Saskatoon man who fatally stabbed spouse key in judge’s 'difficult' verdict
A judge in a Saskatoon murder trial must decide whether the accused was delusional while stabbing his spouse.
Justice Ronald Mills will consider Blake Schreiner’s mental state and whether he was capable of appreciating his crime.
Tammy Brown was found with 80 stab wounds in the couple’s home on Jan. 29, 2019.
Brown’s spouse, Schreiner, admitted to the killing — but has pleaded not-guilty to the first-degree murder charge.
Schreiner claims he heard voices telling him to kill Brown and he was paranoid Brown was going to kill him first.
The defence is arguing Schreiner is not criminally responsible because he was battling a schizophrenia-type disorder at the time.
The Crown says the killing was fueled by problems in the couple’s relationship and a potential custody battle over their two kids.
Schreiner wrote journals saying he was on psilocybin (magic mushrooms) the night of the killings. But in other journals, Schreiner said he was sober.
Earlier in the trial, two psychiatrists gave duelling diagnoses of Schreiner — one psychiatrist diagnosed the accused with a schizophrenia-type disorder, but the other didn’t.
Mills said it’s “difficult” to decide what caused Schreiner’s alleged hallucinations during the killing — whether it was psilocybin, or a mental illness.
During final arguments, defence lawyer Brad Mitchell said Schreiner is “seriously mentally ill and has been for quite some time” — pointing to a not criminally responsible verdict.
Meanwhile, Crown prosecutor Mel Kujawa said the killing is “another tragic domestic homicide, plain and simple.” She argued Schreiner was planning to kill Brown for a week.
Schreiner was “self-medicating, unemployed and unhappy. He perceived his spouse as successful. She wanted to leave and he decided if he can’t have the kids, she can’t either,” Kujawa argued.
The verdict is expected on June 7.