California Woman Who Fatally Stabbed Boyfriend in Weed-Induced Psychosis, Avoids Jail

Chad O'Melia and Bryn Spejcher
Chad O'Melia and Bryn Spejcher. Facebook

A California woman who fatally stabbed her boyfriend more than 100 times during what prosecutors called a "cannabis-induced" psychosis has been spared prison time, a judge ruled on Tuesday.

Bryn Spejcher, 32, was sentenced Tuesday to two years of probation, according to Ventura County Superior Court records. Last month, Spejcher was convicted in the 2018 fatal stabbing of 26-year-old Chad O'Melia, a man whom she had been dating for several weeks. Testimony showed she stabbed O'Melia more than 100 times, the Ventura County Star reported.

Spejcher Suffered an Adverse Reaction from the Cannabis, Triggering a Psychotic Episode

In addition to the probation, Spejcher was also ordered to complete 100 hours of community service. The sentence was handed down nearly four years after Spejcher went to O'Melia's apartment in Thousand Oaks, where they took multiple hits from a bong loaded with marijuana, the Ventura County District Attorney's Office said in a statement last month.

"Spejcher had an adverse reaction to the marijuana and suffered from what experts call Cannabis-Induced Psychotic Disorder," according to the statement. "During that psychotic episode, Spejcher stabbed Mr. O'Melia multiple times killing him."

Spejcher Stabbed Herself in the Neck as Cops Tried to Disarm Her

Police officers who responded to the apartment found O'Melia lying in a pool of blood with Spejcher "screaming hysterically with a knife still in her hands." Before the officers could disarm her, Spejcher plunged the weapon, a long-serrated bread knife, into her own neck, the district attorney said in the statement.

Officers used a Taser and multiple baton blows before they were finally able to disarm and subdue Spejcher, authorities said. O'Melia was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

Judge: 'She Had No Control Over Her Actions'

Spejcher's defense attorneys claimed that their client was "involuntarily intoxicated," and that O'Melia had allegedly bullied and intimidated her into smoking the last bit of marijuana. Spejcher was ultimately convicted by a jury of involuntary manslaughter.

Ventura County Superior Court Judge David Worley defended his decision to sentence Spejcher to no prison time. "From that point forward, she had no control over her actions," he said, referring to the moments after she had smoked the portion of marijuana, per the Ventura County Star.

Spejcher's lawyer, Bob Schwartz, said he was pleased with the ruling, the outlet reported. "Judge Worley did the right and courageous thing," Schwartz said.

After the sentencing on Tuesday, Spejcher and her family cried tears of relief, the Ventura County Star reported, while the victim's father said the sentencing set a dangerous precedent. "He just gave everyone in the state of California who smokes marijuana a license to kill someone," Sean O'Melia said, according to the outlet.