CA Judge Gives Woman No Jail Time After Killing Boyfriend

( – A California woman got a legal deal most will never see: zero jail time after killing her boyfriend with 108 knife stabs. Bryhn Spejcher received her sentence in Ventura County on January 23rd, after first dodging a charge of second-degree murder, which prosecutors had lined up before downgrading the charges to involuntary manslaughter.

The reason for all this? Spejcher’s attorneys successfully convinced prosecutors and the court that she experienced an episode of cannabis-induced psychosis. Instead of years or life behind bars, the 32-year-old audiologist will serve 100 hours or community service and a term of probation.

After smoking marijuana—Spejcher claimed she was pressured into it for the first time by a co-worker—she went at her boyfriend Chad O’Melia with a kitchen knife in 2018. After stabbing him 108 times, police found the woman screaming and stabbing herself. she had also killed her dog.

Despite the fact that prosecutors were sufficiently convinced of the drug-induced psychosis theory to downgrade their original murder charges, they were stunned at the no-prison-time verdict. Even under the reduced charges, the judge could have chosen to give Spejcher up to four years in prison.

“The sentence is a terrible miscarriage of justice,” said Audry Nafziger, the prosecutor who tried the case. Nafgizer said she hopes no other California judges get the same idea about imposing such lenient sentences. Though California gives judges in such cases the discretion to choose light or heavy sentences, something this light was “unheard of in my jurisdiction,” Nafgizer said.

The victim’s father, Sean O’Melia, said the judge “set an absolutely terrible precedent” in letting his son’s killer off the hook. Other criminals will surely now claim “it’s okay to kill somebody” after smoking weed, he said.

Prosecutor Nafgizer agrees. Even though she said she accepts the reality of “rare” cases of marijuana-induced psychosis, that doesn’t justify such judicial leniency. Now, she says, we should expect defense attorneys to “grab ahold” of the phenomenon in an attempt to exonerate their clients.

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