Ventura County woman killed man during weed-induced psychosis

A Thousand Oaks woman was convicted of killing a man during an episode of psychosis that was brought on by marijuana, according to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office.

The suspect, identified as Bryn Spejcher, 32, was convicted of killing Chad O’Melia, a man she had been dating for a few weeks.

On May 27, 2018, Spejcher went to O’Melia’s apartment where they both took several hits from a bong filled with marijuana.

Spejcher experienced an adverse reaction from the marijuana and suffered from Cannabis-Induced Psychotic Disorder, authorities said.

During that psychotic episode, Spejcher stabbed O’Melia multiple times, eventually killing him. She also stabbed herself repeatedly, officials said.

The next morning, officers arrived at the apartment to find O’Melia in a pool of blood and Spejcher screaming hysterically while still holding a knife in her hands.

Bryn Spejcher, 32, in a photo from the Ventura County District Attorney's Office.
Bryn Spejcher, 32, in a photo from the Ventura County District Attorney's Office.

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As officers tried to disarm her, Spejcher plunged the knife into her neck, authorities said.

“Officers used a taser and several baton blows before they were able to finally disarm Spejcher,” authorities said. “A long serrated bread knife was taken from her hands.”

O’Melia was pronounced dead at the scene.

Spejcher was convicted by a jury of involuntary manslaughter. She was charged with the special allegations of using a deadly weapon, a serious felony, a crime involving great violence, violent conduct that indicates a serious danger to society and being armed with and using a weapon in the commission of the crime.

“This was a hard-fought case where the victim’s family had to wait a long time for justice and I am grateful for the jury’s verdict,” said Audry Nafziger, Ventura County Senior Deputy District Attorney. “We will continue with the presentation of evidence on Monday.”

Spejcher is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 4 for a hearing on the special allegations and enhancements.

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