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Woman avoids jail for fatally stabbing boyfriend 108 times during marijuana-induced psychosis, family reacts: 'License to kill'
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Woman avoids jail for fatally stabbing boyfriend 108 times during marijuana-induced psychosis, family reacts: 'License to kill'

A California woman avoided serving any jail time for the fatal stabbing of her boyfriend. The defense argued that the woman stabbed her boyfriend 108 times because she had suffered a marijuana-induced psychotic episode. The unnerved family of the slain man has reacted to the judge's decision.

Bryn Spejcher, 33, was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the killing of her boyfriend, Chad O'Melia, 26, in December. Spejcher faced four years in prison for fatally stabbing her boyfriend 108 times in 2018.

On Tuesday, Ventura County Superior Court Judge David Worley ruled that Spejcher would avoid any jail time. The judge sentenced her to "100 hours of community service in the form of educating others on marijuana-induced psychosis and two years of formal probation," according to the Los Angeles Times.

Judge Worley argued that the drug-induced psychosis caused Spejcher to have "no control over her actions."

O'Melia's family were dismayed by the California judge's ruling and warned that it had set a dangerous precedent.

"He just gave everyone in the state of California who smokes marijuana a license to kill someone," said Sean O’Melia, Chad's father.

Shane O’Melia, Chad's brother, was frustrated that Spejcher had been out on bail since her arrest in 2018.

“It’s been five and a half years where she has got to live with her family and we get to live with a box of ashes,” Shane said, according to KTLA.

Spejcher's lawyer, Bob Schwartz, commended Worley for doing "the right and courageous thing."

During the sentencing, Spejcher told the O'Melia family, "My actions have ripped your family apart. I am broken and aching inside. I hurt that you never see Chad again."

Spejcher and O’Melia reportedly met each other at a dog park.

After dating for just a few weeks, the pair smoked marijuana at his apartment in Thousand Oaks on the night of May 27, 2018.

Spejcher allegedly suffered from a cannabis-induced psychotic episode and stabbed O'Melia 108 times with different knives. Police responded to the stabbing in the early hours of the following day.

"When law enforcement arrived shortly after midnight, O’Melia was covered in a pool of blood," the Ventura County Star reported. "Spejcher was screaming hysterically and holding a knife she plunged into her neck. Law enforcement officers used a Taser and several baton blows to disarm her."

O'Melia was pronounced dead at the crime scene.

Ventura County District Attorney Erik Nasarenko said in a statement that Spejcher experienced "an adverse reaction to the marijuana and suffered from what experts call Cannabis-Induced Psychotic Disorder."

According to the National Library of Health: "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."

During the trial, Spejcher's defense attorneys claimed Bryn was "involuntarily intoxicated" and accused O'Melia of pressuring and intimidating her to take the last bit of marijuana from the bong.

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