Bryn Spejcher on trial for manslaughter caused by marijuana psychosis

Bryn Spejcher appears in a booking photo

Bryn Spejcher appears in a booking photo. (Ventura County Sheriff’s Office)

A California woman who previously practiced as an audiologist is currently on trial in Ventura County for involuntary manslaughter for stabbing a man she briefly dated in 2018.

The key to the relatively minor charge she faces is her chemically induced state of mind at the time of the bloodletting: She was high, authorities said.

Bryn Spejcher, 32, is accused of stabbing 26-year-old Chad O’Melia 108 times around 1 a.m. on Memorial Day 2018 at his condo in Thousand Oaks in the Conejo Valley, about 40 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

Initially charged with murder, prosecutors asked for the lesser charge end of September at her own request after a forensic psychologist submitted a report concluding she was “acutely psychotic” during the extreme bout of violence. The judge overseeing the case ultimately granted the reduction requested by the state.

The apparent cause of Spejcher’s psychosis was three hits from a marijuana-laden bong. After the last bong hit, she went on a killing spree that cost the lives of the man she barely knew and her dog with three different knives. She apparently tried and almost died that day.

Olly Dawes

Olly Dawes is a Nytimas U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Olly Dawes joined Nytimas in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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