VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. (Court TV) — A California woman received two years of probation for killing her new boyfriend during an episode of cannabis-induced psychosis.
In December, 32-year-old Bryn Spejcher was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for the 2018 killing of 26-year-old Chad O’Melia. At trial, experts testified Spejcher was experiencing a psychotic episode from smoking marijuana when she killed O’Melia, reports the Ventura County Star.
Spejcher and O’Melia had only been dating for a few weeks when she stabbed him more than 100 times. When authorities arrived to the scene in Thousand Oaks, they found Spejcher “screaming hysterically while still holding the knife in her hands,” according to prosecutors. She also stabbed herself multiple times. Officers used a Taser and several baton blows to disarm her.
Prosecutors said Spejcher “had an adverse reaction to the marijuana and suffered what experts call Cannabis-Induced Psychotic Disorder.” The National Library of Medicine states, “A diagnosis of Cannabis-Induced Psychotic Disorder is given when one or both of hallucinations and delusions are present, the hallucinations and/or delusions developed during or soon after cannabis intoxication, the disturbance does not occur exclusively during the course of a delirium, and the disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.”
Spejcher was sentenced to two years of probation with a suspended four year prison sentence. She was also given 100 hours of community service.
According to the Ventura County Star, the judge said his sentence “was based on the lack of culpability.”