No Jail Time For California Woman Who Blamed Marijuana For Murdering Boyfriend
On Tuesday, a California judge shocked the courtroom by sentencing a woman to no prison time for the brutal murder of her boyfriend, who was found dead with 108 stab wounds.
In May 2018, 32-year-old Bryn Spejcher killed Chad O’Melia by stabbing him with three different kitchen knives 108 times. Upon arriving at the scene, police discovered that she had also killed her dog and was screaming and stabbing herself.
Instead of sentencing her to prison time for the brutal murder, a California judge gave Spejcher 100 hours of community service and probation.
Bryn Spejcher kiIIed her boyfriend Chad O'Melia by stabbing him 108 times.
Bryn was sentenced to just two years of probation and 100 hours of community service.
No prison time.
The judge classified this as involuntary due to the fact that she took a hit of cannabis, which she… pic.twitter.com/ra8MkXDmiQ
— End Wokeness (@EndWokeness) January 24, 2024
Spejcher’s lawyer blamed the incident on supposed “cannabis-induced psychosis” caused by smoking marijuana — claiming that she had no history of using the drug, but had done so after feeling pressured by her boyfriend to smoke out of his bong.
Spejcher was initially charged with second-degree murder, but Ventura County prosecutors ultimately downgraded the charge to involuntary manslaughter after discussing the issue with medical experts — who testified to the credibility of psychotic breaks triggered by marijuana. She still faced four years in prison for the downgraded charge, but Judge David Worley shocked prosecutors and the victim’s family by refusing to adequately punish her for her actions.
In a statement to The Daily Wire, Ventura County Senior Deputy District Attorney Audry Nafziger, who tried the case, declared the sentence “a terrible miscarriage of justice” and warned of the consequences of such a ruling.
“I can only hope it is not repeated by other judges. Because involuntary manslaughter and the use of a deadly weapon in California permits judicial discretion… the court was able to set her free with no jail. It is an unheard of sentence in my jurisdiction,” the statement continued.
Nafziger pointed out that the notion that marijuana could cause a psychotic break is concerning considering California lawmakers have legalized the drug. She also noted that the sentence could set a precedent that criminals could use marijuana as a get-out-of-jail-free card for their crimes — arguing that it should not give them a pass, as other criminals don’t get special treatment if their crimes were committed while drunk.
“We do not let people off the hook for drinking and hurting people. People are convicted of being intoxicated and harming others and they, rightly, go to jail,” she said, adding that she expects “many defense attorneys to grab ahold of marijuana-induced psychosis and assert it.”
The victim’s father, Sean O’Melia, also expressed concern about the precedent set by Spejcher’s sentence.
“I think [Judge Worley] set an absolute terrible precedent in the state of California where it’s okay to kill somebody after you smoke marijuana,” he told KTLA.
Nafziger further explained the incident in her statement to The Daily Wire, where she confirmed that Spejcher clearly appeared to be in a state of psychosis when police arrived — as she was seen on police bodycam footage responding to hallucinations and later told officers that she believed she was dead and could only bring herself back to life by killing O’Melia.
The district attorney explained that Spejcher was “literally sawing her neck off with a 10-inch bread knife when law enforcement burst into the room. Then they tased her numerous times to no effect and then hit her with a metal baton nine times until they broke her hand and arm in several places, forcing her to eventually release the knife. She did not respond to the officers at all, she was unaware they were present. She is then seen responding to the voices/command hallucinations on video. I do not think there will be many cases where overwhelming evidence such as this arises.”
Spejcher reportedly begged for forgiveness in court, stating: “I wish I had known more about the dangers of marijuana.”