Woman Convicted for Stabbing Boyfriend Over 100 Times During Cannabis-Induced Psychosis

A California woman was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter on Friday for the 2018 death of her boyfriend, whom she stabbed over 100 times during an episode of what was described as “cannabis-induced psychosis.” The jury took less than four hours to convict Bryn Spejcher, 32, who was visibly distraught during the court proceedings.

Spejcher and her boyfriend, Chad O’Melia, had been in a relationship for only a few weeks when the incident occurred. After taking two hits from O’Melia’s bong, a device commonly used for smoking marijuana, in May 2018, Spejcher experienced a psychotic episode. She stabbed O’Melia 108 times, leading to the 26-year-old’s death. She also inflicted multiple stab wounds on herself, according to officials.

Law enforcement officers arrived at O’Melia’s Thousand Oaks residence the following morning. They found Spejcher next to O’Melia’s blood-soaked body, still clutching a knife and screaming hysterically. O’Melia was declared dead at the scene.

When officers tried to disarm Spejcher, she stabbed herself in the neck with a bread knife. During her psychotic episode, Spejcher also stabbed her dog, as reported by the Ventura County Star.

During the trial, it was undisputed that Spejcher was responsible for O’Melia’s death. The charges against her included the use of a deadly weapon, violent conduct indicating a serious danger to society, and being armed with and using a weapon in the commission of a crime. The main point of contention in the trial was whether her cannabis intoxication was voluntary or not.

Spejcher’s defense argued that she was an inexperienced marijuana user. After her first hit from the bong didn’t get her high, O’Melia encouraged her to take another, according to VC Star. The prosecution stated that she had a severe negative reaction to the second hit, causing her to rush to the bathroom in a panic. Spejcher reportedly told investigators that she began hearing ominous voices in her head before stabbing O’Melia to death shortly after midnight.

Under California law, individuals are held accountable for their actions when impaired by drugs or alcohol, unless the intoxication is involuntary. Spejcher’s conviction of involuntary manslaughter typically carries a sentence of around four years in state prison. She is due back in court on Monday for hearings on four ‘enhancements’ to her verdict that could potentially increase her sentence.

Despite the prosecution’s request to remand her into custody, Ventura County Superior Court Judge Anthony Sabo denied the motion. She will remain free on bail until the hearing is concluded. Chad O’Melia’s father, Sean O’Melia, expressed his gratitude for the work of the prosecutors and police, but stated that he did not consider the verdict to be “justice.”