Guilty of murder: Blake Schreiner was not mentally ill when he killed his wife Tammy Brown, rules judge

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The defense argued that Blake Schreiner was not criminally responsible because he suffered from a mental disorder – an allegation dismissed by Judge Ronald Mills.

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When the sun crept in from behind the clouds as he stood outside the Queen’s Bench courthouse in Saskatoon, Bruce Brown said it must have been his daughter Tammy expressing his joy that his killer had been convicted of second degree murder.

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“Everyone loved Tammy, it’s plain and simple, right down to her kids. She’s happy now, I hope, and we can start to live a little better, ”he said.

Bruce Brown speaks at the Court of Queen's Bench in Saskatoon after Blake Schreiner was convicted of second degree murder in the death of his daughter.
Bruce Brown speaks at the Court of Queen’s Bench in Saskatoon after Blake Schreiner was convicted of second degree murder in the death of his daughter. Photo by Kayle Neis /Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Judge Ronald Mills ruled Thursday that the defense failed to establish that Blake Jeffrey Schreiner, 39, suffered from a mental disorder when he stabbed his wife and the mother of their two children 80 times in their neighborhood home in River Heights on January 29. 2019.

She was 39 years old.

Mills also found that the Crown had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the murder was planned and deliberate, leading it to rule out the possibility of first degree murder.

“The evidence leads me to conclude that this was an impulsive act,” said Mills.

Defense attorney Brad Mitchell argued that Schreiner was not criminally responsible (NCR) because he suffered from schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) – a finding made by one of two psychiatrists who testified at trial – which left him unable to know the murder was wrong.

In his decision, Mills rejected this request, giving two reasons.

First, he discovered that Schreiner “had given different versions of the things he had done and said over time” and his testimony that he heard voices telling him to kill Tammy because she was going to kill him was neither reliable nor credible.

He also said he preferred “the testimony and approach regarding the criteria and method of diagnosing SPD” given by Dr Olajide Adelugba – the Crown witness who diagnosed Schreiner as suffering from anxiety disorders and drug addiction that can cause paranoia – in the opinion of Dr. Mansfield Mela, the defense witness who diagnosed Schreiner with SPD.

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Mills pointed to evidence from doctors and family members that Schreiner had struggled with alcoholism and sought help from psychiatrists and anxiety and depression counselors as early as 2010, but never mentioned the paranoia or delusions before killing Tammy.

Crown Attorney Melodi Kujawa said Mills noted that almost all of the information about Schreiner’s voices came from Schreiner, and Dr Mela believed him by his word.

Mitchell argued that the diaries Schreiner wrote before killing Brown spoke of his deteriorating “state of mind”, chronicling his use of psilocybin and the paranoia and delusions he experienced on those mushroom trips.

Mills said it was difficult to tell which delusions were drug-induced and which were not.

When Schreiner realized he wouldn’t have the NCR defense if he used psilocybin, he rewrote the papers to say he was suffering from sober delusions instead, Kujawa argued.

“When you title your documents ‘NCR material’ when you try to create this fictitious NCR defense… his diaries that he had written before did not contain anything to support the diagnosis (the SPD),” she told the outside the court.

Crown Prosecutor Melodi Kujawa said it was a domestic violence case, not criminal liability.
Crown Prosecutor Melodi Kujawa said it was a domestic violence case, not criminal liability. Photo by Kayle Neis /Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Mills noted that Schreiner was, however, open about marital issues caused by her unemployment and substance use, jealousy over Tammy’s successful career, and the underlying fear that she would leave him and prevent him from seeing their children.

“What it was clearly about was something that we see far too often, in which we have a man, there is an argument, in this case children, and he is not going to let her in any way. the knowledge. So he makes the irrational decision to kill her to avoid that, ”Kujawa said.

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Schreiner – in mask, in a suit and tie, hair cropped – eyed Mills intently from behind the prisoner’s glass box as the decision was read.

Mitchell said Schreiner was disappointed and they will need time to go through the 52-page decision before making a decision on an appeal.

Defense attorney Brad Mitchell has expressed disappointment with the murder conviction.
Defense attorney Brad Mitchell has expressed disappointment with the murder conviction. Photo by Kayle Neis /Saskatoon StarPhoenix

The sentence was postponed until August 5. Second degree murder automatically carries a life sentence, but lawyers can advocate for parole eligibility to be set between 10 and 25 years.

Kujawa said the Crown will ask for more than the 10-year minimum. Mitchell has not indicated what he will be looking for.

Tammy Brown, 39, was stabbed 80 times by her partner, Blake Schreiner, on January 29, 2019 (Photo provided by Gloria Brown)
Tammy Brown, 39, was stabbed 80 times by her partner, Blake Schreiner, on January 29, 2019 (Photo provided by Gloria Brown) jpg

Outside of court, Bruce Brown said his daughter, who grew up in Creighton, Saskatchewan, was an adventurous spirit who enjoyed her job as a CT technician and instructor at Saskatchewan Polytechnic.

He said when Tammy was younger she wasn’t sure if she wanted to have kids, but her kids immediately became his whole world.

“She’s like a mother hen, she was like that until the end,” he said, choking on his last words to his children: “Mum loves you.”

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  1. Blake Jeffrey Schreiner (left) is charged with first degree murder in connection with the January 2019 death of his wife, Tammy Brown, in Saskatoon.  (Facebook photos)

    Blake Schreiner trial hears arguments over murder vs. mental disorder

  2. Blake Jeffrey Schreiner (left) is charged with first degree murder in connection with the January 2019 death of his wife, Tammy Brown, in Saskatoon.  (Facebook photos)

    “He was most concerned about his children”: psychologist testifies as final witness at Schreiner murder trial

  3. Blake Jeffrey Schreiner is pictured following his arrest on January 29, 2019. Photo from the exhibit in court.

    Psychiatrist misdiagnosed Blake Schreiner despite plenty of reports indicating personality disorder: defense

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