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California woman who fatally stabbed boyfriend over 100 times avoids prison

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. The decision drew sobs of relief from the woman and a rebuke from the victim's father.

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 Chad O'Melia, a man whom she had been dating for several weeks.

Bryn Spejcher Ventura County District Attorney

Testimony showed she stabbed O'Melia more than 100 times and also stabbed herself, the Ventura County Star reported.

After the sentence was handed down by Ventura County Superior Court Judge David Worley 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.

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."

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. 

Spejcher was ultimately convicted by a jury of involuntary manslaughter.

The Ventura County Star reported that the day before Tuesday's hearing, family and friends of O'Melia marched in front of the county government center, carrying signs that said: "108 Stab Wounds Is A Serious Crime," and "Judge Worley, Do The Right Thing."

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.

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