'He had the ability to stop himself from killing his daughter': Crown argues Saskatoon man accused of murdering spouse was aware of actions
SASKATOON -- Moments before Blake Schreiner killed his spouse, he almost stabbed his one-year-old daughter. During cross-examination on Wednesday, the Crown questioned why Schreiner showed restraint towards his daughter, but not his spouse.
Tammy Brown, 39, was found dead in the couple’s Saskatoon home on Jan. 29, 2019. Brown had 80 stab wounds all over her body.
Schreiner has admitted to the stabbing, but has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.
The Crown is trying to prove Schreiner murdered Brown because of the couple’s relationship issues, while the defence is trying to establish Schreiner’s not criminally responsible because of his mental state.
For the third day, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Mansfield Mela took the witness stand. Mela diagnosed Schreiner with a disorder on the schizophrenia spectrum and testified his mental state made him incapable of understanding his crime.
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Before the stabbing, Schreiner said he thought he had to kill his daughter because she would take-on Brown’s soul, and he held a knife up to her back.
“If he had the ability to stop himself from killing his daughter, why didn’t he have that same ability to stop himself from killing his wife?” Crown Prosecutor Mel Kujawa asked Mela.
Mela said he “didn’t recall” asking Schreiner why the accused didn’t follow through with the stabbing.
“What’s in his mind that night is incredibly important,” Kujawa said.
Earlier in the trial, on the stand, Schreiner testified he didn’t end up stabbing his daughter because he fell asleep.
Schreiner has changed his story five times: Crown
A prominent question in this trial is whether Schreiner was high on magic mushrooms or battling a mental disorder when he killed his spouse.
In a journal, Schreiner wrote he was under the influence of psilocybin, known as magic mushrooms, while stabbing Brown. But in a later journal, he changes the story to reflect he was sober.
- 'His judgement was impaired': Psychiatrist testifies to mental state of Saskatoon man who killed his spouse
Schreiner also testified he was sober. He told court he heard voices in his head and believed Brown was trying to kill him or frame him for pedophilia.
“Mr. Schreiner hears voices when he does mushrooms, right?” the Crown asked.
“Yes,” Mela responded.
The Crown suggested perhaps the voices didn’t come from his mental disorder, but from magic mushrooms.
“There’s no way anyone could say whether the voices came from hallucinogens or not?” Kujawa asked.
“I think there’s a way,” the psychiatrist responded.
“Is there a way to say definitively?” Kujawa rebutted.
“No, not definitively,” Mela answered.
Mela agreed with the Crown that the accused changed his story about the killing five times.
Schreiner initially told a 911 operator someone broke-in and killed Brown.
He later told police he killed Brown because Brown was going to make him out to be a pedophile.
Schreiner told a doctor at Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford he killed her because of child custody disputes.
In his first interview with Mela he said he was under the influence of magic mushrooms the night of the death.
In his second interview with Mela, he said he was sober the evening of the killing.
The trial is scheduled to continue all week.