VENTURA, Calif. (TCD) — A jury recently convicted a 32-year-old woman of fatally stabbing a man with a serrated bread knife before plunging the weapon into her own neck during a marijuana-induced psychosis several years ago.
According to a Dec. 1 news release from the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office, Bryn Spejcher was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in connection with Chad O’Melia’s death. The two had reportedly been dating for a few weeks before the fatal attack.
On May 27, 2018, Spejcher went to O’Melia’s home in Thousand Oaks, and they took multiple bong hits of marijuana. The district attorney’s office said Spejcher experienced Cannabis-Induced Psychotic Disorder as a result. Spejcher stabbed her boyfriend and herself multiple times during the episode. According to the Ventura County Star, she also stabbed her dog.
Law enforcement responded to the apartment the next day, where they found O’Melia “in a pool of blood” and Spejcher “screaming hysterically with a knife still in her hands.”
As officials tried to take the weapon away, the district attorney’s office said Spejcher “plunged the knife into her own neck.” Law enforcement deployed a Taser and hit her with a baton to disarm Spejcher and take the knife.
Spejcher reportedly suffered stab wounds to her face, neck, and right jugular vein, which needed to be treated with surgery.
Paramedics pronounced O’Melia dead at the scene. According to the Ventura County Star, he had sustained stab wounds to his head, face, neck, chest, hands, arms, and organs.
Spejcher initially faced a charge of murder, but the Ventura County Star reports that prosecutors filed to a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter due to the psychosis she had experienced. Prosecutors reportedly obtained body-worn camera footage from officers and said she appeared “possessed.”
According to court filings obtained by the Ventura County Star, psychologist Kris Mohandie said that Spejcher’s stabbing of “her own beloved dog, without any evidence of animal cruelty tendencies, is highly inconsistent with her love of dogs, and underscores her level of impairment.”
Ventura County Senior Deputy District Attorney Audry Nafziger said in a statement, “This was a hard-fought case where the victim’s family had to wait a long time for justice and I am grateful for the jury’s verdict.”
Spejcher was scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 4 for a hearing on special allegations and enhancements. Those special allegation charges include use of a deadly weapon, serious felony, the crime involved great violence, defendant has engaged in violent conduct that indicates a serious danger to society, and the defendant was armed with and used a weapon in the commission of the crime.
Spejcher reportedly worked as an audiologist, but her license was suspended pending the case.