Parole eligibility still undecided for Sask. man convicted of murdering wife

A Saskatoon judge is still undecided on the parole eligibility of a man who was convicted of murder after stabbing his wife.

Blake Schreiner stabbed his wife, Tammy Brown, 80 times on Jan. 29, 2019. Schreiner was found guilty of second-degree murder in June.

On Friday morning, Court of Queen’s Bench heard sentencing arguments and several victim impact statements from Brown’s family, including her parents, sisters, brother-in-law and friend. 

Crown prosecutor Mel Kujawa said mental health was at the forefront of the trial and continues to be an ongoing theme. 

Schreiner previously testified he heard voices telling him to kill Brown, with the defence’s psychiatrist diagnosing him with a schizophrenia-type disorder.

The Crown said Schreiner “only feels sorry for him” and questioned his sincerity. The Crown is seeking parole eligibility after 18 years. 

The sentence for second-degree murder is life imprisonment with a chance of parole varying between 10 to 25 years. 

Kujawa emphasized Schreiner’s continued issues were of “his own making,” saying he lost his job two years before Brown’s death, but remained unemployed with a university degree and two children to support.

Defence lawyer Brad Mitchell called for parole eligibility after 12 years, arguing Schreiner had no previous history of domestic violence, describing him as “hard working.” Mitchell suggested he did show remorse, even if it wasn’t consistent. 

Mitchell also defended Schreiner doesn’t remember the attack, leading Justice Ronald Mills to argue back.

“That many stab wounds didn’t occur in a minute or two,” Mills said. 

‘I WISH MY MOM WAS HERE’

Tawny Lanigan, Brown’s sister, recalled the details of Brown’s death in a victim impact statement.

She tearfully expressed how Brown’s death has impacted her own children, giving them separation anxiety, worried that their own mother will be taken from them. 

Lanigan said she has trouble focusing on driving and is unable to carve pumpkins with her children because using a knife triggers her.

Brown’s other sister, Tracy, played a recording of Brown’s now three-year-old son saying “I wish my mom was here to kiss me.” The recording was played three times in the courtroom. 

The victim’s mother, Gloria Brown, said their lives have been changed forever and that a hole has been left in her heart, regretting welcoming Schreiner into the family. 

Bruce Brown, Brown’s father, said he wished he’d been there to stop the murder, recalling his daughter saying “Don’t worry dad, he wouldn’t hurt me or the kids.” Brown died three days later. 

Victim services read Cst. Jason Jacobson’s impact statement.

Jacobson, who arrested Schreiner the night of the killing, described him as selfish and callous. 

His statement read that he recalls the couple’s children covered in blood and how it was the worst call he’s received as an officer, especially since he and Brown attended the same school. 

SCHREINER’S APOLOGY

During Schreiner’s tearful address to the judge and courtroom, he said Brown was one of his favourite people and always admired her strength. 

He added Brown had tried to help him through his mental health struggles, but said he was “too far gone.” 

Schreiner apologized for killing Brown, saying he’s sorry his children will have to grow up without their mother. 

Mills addressed Schreiner, saying the “aggravating factor” was that the murder was committed in the presence of children. Mills said one day, they will have to face the reality that their father killed their mother. 

Mills said he was initially prepared to give his sentencing decision on Friday, but concluded he would need more time because the Crown and defence presented new material. 

A new sentencing date has been set for Sept. 24.

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