On the two year anniversary of Tammy Brown’s death, questions still loom about her killer’s mental state
SASKATOON -- Two years ago today, Tammy Brown was found dead in her River Heights home.
Police found her in the master bedroom with 80 stab wounds all over her body.
Brown’s husband, Blake Schreiner, has admitted to the stabbing, but pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.
Family remembers Brown as a hardworking teacher at Saskatchewan Polytechnic and a devoted mother to her two kids.
Brown’s last words were, “Mommy loves you,” according to Schreiner.
He took the stand in September 2020 and testified he “blacked out” during the stabbing.
Schreiner testified he put a duvet over his wife’s body, then washed his son’s foot that got soaked in the blood.
The murder trial is exploring Schreiner’s mental state at the time of the stabbing, and whether Schreiner was able to appreciate the severity of his actions.
Two psychiatrists with two different opinions took the stand.
One doctor said Schreiner was battling a schizophrenia-type disorder and heard voices in his head urging him to kill.
Another doctor said Schreiner knew what he was doing and didn’t hear any voices, that the couple’s relationship problems fuelled the killings.
Court heard Schreiner has a history with psilocybin, known as magic mushrooms.
In journals Schreiner wrote in custody, Schreiner said he was high on mushrooms during the stabbing.
But on the stand, Schreiner said that was a lie. He said he was sober.
Schreiner said the reason he stabbed Brown was because he was paranoid his wife was going to kill him first, or make him out to be a pedophile.
During interviews with psychiatrists at Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford, where he was held after the stabbing, Schreiner didn’t mention hearing voices.
Weeks before the stabbing, Schreiner’s sister-in-law offered a glimpse into how Brown was feeling in the relationship.
Text messages from Brown showed she was concerned about her husband’s mental state, that Schreiner’s paranoia was “obvious,” the sister-in-law said.
The sister-in-law asked, “Do you feel safe?”
“I should be ok,” Brown texted back.
Family of the accused testified Schreiner was acting strangely and paranoid leading up to the stabbing. In one instance, Schreiner expressed concern his toddler was going to hang him with a skipping rope.
Court heard Schreiner was scheduled to see a counsellor on Jan. 30, 2019 — the day after Brown was killed.
Determining whether Schreiner was battling a mental disorder at the time of the stabbing is crucial in this case.
It could be the difference whether Schreiner goes to prison or a psychiatric hospital. Justice Ronald Mills is presiding.
The trial is adjourned until Thursday, when the defence will decide whether to call a psychologist witness who assessed Schreiner.