Woman Blames Marijuana For Murder, Receives No Prison Time

California Judge David Worley decided not to send a woman to prison after she was arrested in 2018 for stabbing her boyfriend to death. Bryn Spejcher, 33, was only ordered 100 hours of community service and two years of probation for the crime.

In May 2018, the Ventura Police Department responded to the Thousand Oaks Apartments to investigate a possible stabbing. When they arrived, they found Chad O’Melia dead with a disturbing number of stab wounds to his heart, lungs, and arteries. They also found the couple’s dog stabbed to death.

Spejcher herself was also covered in blood and stab wounds, sobbing next to her boyfriend’s dead body. She still had the murder weapon, an eight-inch bread knife, in her hand. Daily Mail reported that Spejcher had used a total of three different knives from the kitchen in the attack. When police attempted to disarm and arrest her, she stabbed her own throat.

Originally, she was charged with second-degree murder but Spejcher insisted her actions were a direct result of an adverse reaction to marijuana. She claimed her boyfriend pushed a bong on her and pressured her to inhale marijuana. The defense used her career as an audiologist and her intentions to help others as supportive evidence of her kind character. “She has worked her whole life helping others,” her father Mike Spejcher said at the sentencing hearing.

According to a report by the New York Post, Spejcher’s lawyer argued at the hearing that she was “involuntarily intoxicated” and suggested that the boyfriend had forced the marijuana on her. Medical experts also attested to the act as a psychotic episode directly resulting from marijuana. The defense was heard by the district attorney who later petitioned for the charges to be lessened. Jurors only took 4 hours to rule the act as involuntary manslaughter.

California was one of the first states in the country to completely legalize marijuana usage. However, the law also states that people are still liable for their actions even if impaired by drugs or alcohol unless the intoxication is involuntary. The victim’s father, Chad O’Melia told the press that the judge made a big mistake and “gave everyone in the state of California who smokes marijuana a license to kill someone.”