Saskatoon man who fatally stabbed spouse feared custody battle: psychologist
SASKATOON -- A month after Blake Schreiner stabbed his spouse, he told a psychologist he worried about his relationship status and a potential custody battle over their children.
Forensic psychologist Dr. Anne Pleydon testified on Monday as the final witness in Schreiner’s murder trial.
Schreiner has admitted to killing his spouse, Tammy Brown, but has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. Brown was found with 80 stab wounds in the couple’s River Heights home on Jan. 29, 2019.
Pleydon assessed Schreiner at Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford on March 21, 2019.
At the hospital, Pleydon asked Schreiner, “do you know why you’re here?”
“‘I murdered my wife.’ They were the first words out of his mouth,” Pleydon testified.
“It told us immediately that he understood the charge and why he was there.”
Pleydon said at the time of the offence, Schreiner was “extremely preoccupied” about what would happen to the couple’s two kids in a potential custody battle.
Based on her notes from the Schreiner interview, Pleydon testified Schreiner worried Brown would frame him for pedophilia as a way to get full custody of their children.
“He said, ‘If (Brown’s) going to send me to jail, we’re going to go down together.’ He said that quote many times in different ways,” Pleydon said.
Brown had never actually accused Schreiner of pedophilia, court heard.
Multiple times in the Saskatchewan Hospital interview, Schreiner told Pleydon he was paranoid people were trying to call his phone.
Schreiner also told the psychologist that he had heard voices in his head during times of distress.
The defence argues Schreiner is not criminally responsible for the killing because of his mental state. The Crown argues problems in the couple’s relationship lead Schreiner to stab his spouse.
“His children were foremost on his mind,” Pleydon told court.
Earlier in the trial, Schreiner testified he was paranoid Brown was trying to kill him, and it was kill or be killed.
Justice Ron Mills is scheduled to hear closing arguments April 7.