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May 17, 2024 12 mins
Bryn Spejcher, a 32-year-old California woman, convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the fatal stabbing of Chad O'Melia, 26, is appealing her conviction, alleging that she was deceived into using marijuana before the deadly attack.
Spejcher's conviction stems from a tragic incident where she stabbed O'Melia 108 times before also harming her dog and herself. Despite the severity of the crime, she received a sentence of two years on probation and 100 hours of community service, a punishment she and her legal team deem inadequate.
In an exclusive interview with The Daily Mail, Spejcher disclosed her intentions to appeal, arguing that O'Melia, whom she had been dating, coerced her into consuming marijuana. She claimed that she had expressed her lack of romantic interest in him just two days prior to the incident.
According to Spejcher, O'Melia pressured her into using a potent strain of marijuana, despite her limited experience with the drug. She alleges that he manipulated her into taking additional hits, leading to a drastic and unforeseen reaction that resulted in the fatal assault.
Spejcher's attorney, Michael Goldstein, maintains that her intoxication was involuntary and a direct result of O'Melia's deceit. Goldstein cited expert testimony during the trial, which characterized the violent outburst as unpredictable and unforeseeable.
The defense argues that the marijuana involved had an exceptionally high THC level of 31.8%, far beyond what Spejcher had previously used. They emphasized the lack of public health warnings regarding the potential for psychosis and violence associated with such potent strains.
Despite the legal maneuvering, O'Melia's family remains dissatisfied with the outcome of the criminal proceedings, advocating for a harsher punishment and intends to pursue a civil case against Spejcher, scheduled for the coming weeks.
O'Melia's father, who led a protest outside the courthouse during Spejcher's sentencing hearing, during which she received no prison time, expressed profound disappointment with the justice system's handling of the case. He lamented that his son and their family were denied justice, as Spejcher received only two years of probation and 100 hours of community service.
"We feel completely failed by the system," O'Melia's father told Fox News in January. "Not only did my son not receive justice, but our entire family has been denied closure."
The next hearing for the civil case is scheduled for May 16.
Meanwhile, court records indicate that Spejcher is planning to appeal her criminal conviction. Prosecutor Nafziger noted that it's common for defendants to appeal the verdict rather than the sentence. She expressed interest in the appeal, particularly given what she considers a lenient sentence by Judge Worley.
Nafziger explained that if the appeals court determines the verdict should be overturned, a new trial would ensue with a different judge, potentially leading to a different sentence.
Prosecutor Nafziger notes that if the appeal succeeds, a new trial could result in a different judge imposing a potentially harsher penalty.
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