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Thousand Oaks woman convicted of killing man during "cannabis-induced psychosis"

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A Thousand Oaks woman has been convicted of fatally stabbing a man during what prosecutors called a "cannabis-induced psychosis" in 2018.

Bryn Spejcher, 32, fatally stabbed Chad O'Melia, a man whom she had been dating for several weeks, back on May 27, 2018, according to prosecutors.

On that day, Spejcher went to O'Melia's apartment in Thousands Oaks, where they took multiple hits from a bong loaded with marijuana, a statement from the Ventura County District Attorney's Office said.

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

Police officers sent to the apartment the next morning 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 is said to have plunged the weapon, a long-serrated bread knife, into her own neck.

Before they were able to finally disarm Spejcher of the weapon, officers used a taser and several baton blows, the statement said.

O'Melia was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

As a result, she was convicted by a jury on Friday of involuntary manslaughter. Spejcher is scheduled in court again on Monday for special allegations charges and enhancements for the incident. Special allegations include use of a deadly weapon, serious felony, crime involving great violence, violent conduct indicating a serious threat to society and use of a weapon during commission of a crime.

"This was a hard-fought case where the victim's family had to wait a long time for justice and I am grateful or the jury's verdict," said Senior Deputy District Attorney Audry Nafziger, who prosecuted the case.


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