Saskatoon man guilty of 2nd-degree murder in spouse's stabbing death
SASKATOON -- A judge has found a Saskatoon man guilty of second-degree murder in the stabbing death of his spouse.
Tammy Brown was stabbed more than 80 times in her home. Blake Schreiner admitted to the killing, but pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.
Schreiner testified he heard voices telling him to kill Brown, with the defence’s psychiatrist diagnosing him with a schizophrenia-type disorder.
Justice Ronald Mills said he had “great difficulty” with Schreiner's testimony in court and information he provided to the defence psychiatrist.
Crown Prosecutor Mel Kujawa said Schreiner made up the mental disorder symptoms.
“Mr. Schreiner tried to claim this was something that it wasn’t. He created a diagnosis, and therefore insulted all the people who have genuine mental health disorders,” Kujawa said.
The Crown argued problems in the couple’s relationship, and Schreiner’s fears about a custody battle over their kids fuelled the killing.
“There was no way he was going to let her have [the kids], so he makes the irrational decision to kill her,” Kujawa said.
EXPLANATION 'MAKES NO SENSE'
Schreiner had testified he heard voices to kill his daughter before Brown, but he fell asleep.
The judge questioned how he could ignore the voices telling him to kill his daughter, but not the voices to kill Brown.
“His explanation that he fell asleep … makes no sense,” the judge said.
“The evidence leads me to conclude that this was an impulsive act.”
Schreiner wore a suit, staring at the judge as he read the verdict.
“It’s definitely disappointing. It’s not what we were hoping for,” defence lawyer Brad Mitchell told reporters outside the courthouse.
Second-degree murder holds a life sentence in prison with no chance of parole for at least 10 years.
'EVERYBODY LOVED TAMMY'
Brown’s father, Bruce, said while the family was hoping for first-degree, they were pleased with second-degree murder.
“I know Tammy would be happy,” the victim’s father said.
Brown is being remembered as a hardworking teacher at Saskatchewan Polytechnic and a mother who loved her two kids.
Schreiner testified her last words were “Mommy loves you” when the kids came into the room during the stabbing.
“Everybody loved Tammy. Plain and simple,” Bruce said — referring to her family, friends and students.
The Crown and defence will argue when Schreiner should be eligible for parole during sentencing in August.