A 32-year-old woman, Bryn Spejcher, has been convicted by a jury for involuntarily causing the death of Chad O’Melia by fatally stabbing him with a serrated bread knife. The incident occurred during a marijuana-induced psychosis several years ago. The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office announced the verdict in a news release on December 1.
Spejcher and O’Melia, who had been dating for a few weeks, engaged in multiple bong hits of marijuana at O’Melia’s Thousand Oaks home on May 27, 2018. The district attorney’s office reported that Spejcher experienced Cannabis-Induced Psychotic Disorder, leading to a violent episode where she stabbed O’Melia and herself multiple times. Shockingly, she also attacked her dog.
Law enforcement responded to the scene the following day, finding O’Melia deceased and Spejcher in a distressed state, still holding the knife. During attempts to disarm her, Spejcher further injured herself by plunging the knife into her neck. Law enforcement had to deploy a Taser and use a baton to subdue her and secure the weapon, reported WSYX.
Spejcher, who reportedly suffered stab wounds to her face, neck, and right jugular vein, required surgery for treatment. O’Melia sustained fatal stab wounds to various parts of his body, and his death was pronounced at the scene by paramedics.
Initially facing a murder charge, Spejcher’s case was later reduced to involuntary manslaughter due to the psychosis she experienced. Prosecutors presented body-worn camera footage, describing her demeanor as appearing “possessed.” Psychologist Kris Mohandie, in court filings, highlighted the inconsistency of Spejcher’s actions, including the stabbing of her dog, with her known love for animals.
Ventura County Senior Deputy District Attorney Audry Nafziger expressed gratitude for the jury’s verdict, acknowledging the prolonged wait for justice by the victim’s family. Spejcher, who worked as an audiologist, had her license suspended pending the case, according to VC Star.
She was scheduled to appear in court on December 4 for a hearing on special allegations and enhancements, including the use of a deadly weapon, involvement in a serious felony, commission of a crime with great violence, engagement in violent conduct indicating a danger to society, and use of a weapon during the crime.