Woman who fatally stabbed boyfriend 108 times avoids jail

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By Kim Novak

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A woman who killed her boyfriend by stabbing him 108 times has avoided a jail sentence for the 2018 attack.

Bryn Spejcher, 32, from California, had been facing up to four years in prison following the death of her boyfriend Chad O'Melia, 26, after she was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in December last year.

On May 27, 2018, Spejcher stabbed O'Melia approximately 108 times in his apartment in Thousand Oaks, California, after the pair had smoked marijuana together, prosecutors said.

The Ventura County Star reported that Spejcher also stabbed herself multiple times and that police officers who responded to the scene said they found her in a pool of blood holding a knife and reportedly had to use a baton and deploy a Taser to disarm her and take her into custody.

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Bryn Spejcher was spared jail. Credit: Ventura County District Attorney’s Office

Spejcher had been facing up to four years behind bars but was spared jail after it was determined that she was suffering from cannabis-induced psychosis at the time of the horrifying attack on O'Melia, who was an accountant.

She was instead handed two years probation and 100 hours of community service at her sentencing hearing on Tuesday.

During the trial, a medical expert testified that Spejcher's behavior was a result of cannabis-induced psychosis, as reported by the LA Times, which is when hallucinations or delusions materialize shortly after taking the drug.

Tests were conducted in an effort to prove she was not exaggerating or faking her behavior that day, which led to prosecutors reducing her charge to involuntary manslaughter with a series of enhancements.

That decision was based on a 37-page report from psychologist Kris Mohandie, a consultant for law enforcement, who examined Spejcher, police body-camera footage from the fateful night, as well as interviews with law enforcement, which concluded that Spejcher had lost touch with reality due to highly potent marijuana she'd consumed from a bong with O'Melia.

The Ventura County Star reported that Spejcher's defense attorneys had claimed that O'Melia had allegedly bullied and intimidated her into smoking the last of the marijuana, leaving her "involuntarily intoxicated".

The pair had reportedly been dating for a few weeks when she went to the apartment, but began "hearing and seeing things that weren't there" shortly after taking a second hit from the bong.

According to the district attorney's office, Spejcher's delusions made her believe she was dead and that she had to stab O'Melia in order to bring herself back to life.

Spejcher had expressed her remorse at Tuesday's sentencing hearing, telling O'Melia's family: "My actions have ripped your family apart. I am broken and aching inside. I hurt that you never see Chad again."

She also told the judge: "I wish I could go back in time and prevent this tragedy from happening. I wish I had known more about the dangers of marijuana. Had I known, I would never have smoked it that night or at all."

The victim's brother, Shane O'Melia, had shared his grief for his brother and anger that Spejcher had been out on bail since the attack in 2018, telling the court, via KTLA: "It’s been five and a half years where she has got to live with her family and we get to live with a box of ashes."

Ventura County Superior Court Judge David Worley defended his decision to spare Spejcher of any prison time, telling the court: "From that point forward [after having smoked the portion of marijuana], she had no control over her actions."

Spejcher's attorney Michael Goldstein called the sentence a fair and accurate reflection of behavior that was out of his client's control, per the LA Times.

He told the court: "Today, Ventura Superior Court Judge did the right thing and imposed a sentence that was fair and accurately reflected Ms. Spejcher’s conduct and recognized that it was the contents of the marijuana she was given that was the sole cause of her psychotic breakdown.

"It was clear that she had no control of her faculties and never intended to cause any harm. All of the medical experts agreed, including the expert called by the district attorney’s office."

Featured image credit: NRedmond/Getty Images

Woman who fatally stabbed boyfriend 108 times avoids jail

vt-author-image

By Kim Novak

Article saved!Article saved!

A woman who killed her boyfriend by stabbing him 108 times has avoided a jail sentence for the 2018 attack.

Bryn Spejcher, 32, from California, had been facing up to four years in prison following the death of her boyfriend Chad O'Melia, 26, after she was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in December last year.

On May 27, 2018, Spejcher stabbed O'Melia approximately 108 times in his apartment in Thousand Oaks, California, after the pair had smoked marijuana together, prosecutors said.

The Ventura County Star reported that Spejcher also stabbed herself multiple times and that police officers who responded to the scene said they found her in a pool of blood holding a knife and reportedly had to use a baton and deploy a Taser to disarm her and take her into custody.

wp-image-1263246288 size-full
Bryn Spejcher was spared jail. Credit: Ventura County District Attorney’s Office

Spejcher had been facing up to four years behind bars but was spared jail after it was determined that she was suffering from cannabis-induced psychosis at the time of the horrifying attack on O'Melia, who was an accountant.

She was instead handed two years probation and 100 hours of community service at her sentencing hearing on Tuesday.

During the trial, a medical expert testified that Spejcher's behavior was a result of cannabis-induced psychosis, as reported by the LA Times, which is when hallucinations or delusions materialize shortly after taking the drug.

Tests were conducted in an effort to prove she was not exaggerating or faking her behavior that day, which led to prosecutors reducing her charge to involuntary manslaughter with a series of enhancements.

That decision was based on a 37-page report from psychologist Kris Mohandie, a consultant for law enforcement, who examined Spejcher, police body-camera footage from the fateful night, as well as interviews with law enforcement, which concluded that Spejcher had lost touch with reality due to highly potent marijuana she'd consumed from a bong with O'Melia.

The Ventura County Star reported that Spejcher's defense attorneys had claimed that O'Melia had allegedly bullied and intimidated her into smoking the last of the marijuana, leaving her "involuntarily intoxicated".

The pair had reportedly been dating for a few weeks when she went to the apartment, but began "hearing and seeing things that weren't there" shortly after taking a second hit from the bong.

According to the district attorney's office, Spejcher's delusions made her believe she was dead and that she had to stab O'Melia in order to bring herself back to life.

Spejcher had expressed her remorse at Tuesday's sentencing hearing, telling O'Melia's family: "My actions have ripped your family apart. I am broken and aching inside. I hurt that you never see Chad again."

She also told the judge: "I wish I could go back in time and prevent this tragedy from happening. I wish I had known more about the dangers of marijuana. Had I known, I would never have smoked it that night or at all."

The victim's brother, Shane O'Melia, had shared his grief for his brother and anger that Spejcher had been out on bail since the attack in 2018, telling the court, via KTLA: "It’s been five and a half years where she has got to live with her family and we get to live with a box of ashes."

Ventura County Superior Court Judge David Worley defended his decision to spare Spejcher of any prison time, telling the court: "From that point forward [after having smoked the portion of marijuana], she had no control over her actions."

Spejcher's attorney Michael Goldstein called the sentence a fair and accurate reflection of behavior that was out of his client's control, per the LA Times.

He told the court: "Today, Ventura Superior Court Judge did the right thing and imposed a sentence that was fair and accurately reflected Ms. Spejcher’s conduct and recognized that it was the contents of the marijuana she was given that was the sole cause of her psychotic breakdown.

"It was clear that she had no control of her faculties and never intended to cause any harm. All of the medical experts agreed, including the expert called by the district attorney’s office."

Featured image credit: NRedmond/Getty Images