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'I couldn't recognize him': Court hears details of assault on Jessie Simpson

Kristopher Teichrieb has been sentenced to seven years in prison, minus time served
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(via Brendan Kergin)

After Kristopher Teichrieb pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated assault this morning, a Kamloops court heard details about the assault of Jessie Simpson, along with statements from Simpson's family and Teichrieb.

In the agreed-upon facts presented in court, explicit details were read from the investigation into the early morning assault on June 19, 2016.

Prior to the incident, a series of events had occurred at or around Teichrieb's home on Clifford Avenue, resulting in multiple calls for police for assistance.

During one incident, Teichrieb saw a man slash his wrists. Incidents continued, including multiple calls for police in late May and early June.

After one such incident with a man in the area who appeared dangerous, Teichrieb told police, "There's going to be some vigilante shit going on," according to police statements.

Around 4:30 a.m. on June 19, Simpson was trying to catch up to friends who'd left a party before him in Brocklehurst.

Teichrieb was awoken by his partner after she heard noises in the driveway of their Clifford Avenue home. Teichrieb grabbed an aluminum bat, the court heard, and went outside, chasing Simpson into his backyard where the two exchanged blows. Simpson was able to get away, running onto Holt Street, where Teichrieb caught up to him again and attacked him again, using the bat.

Teichrieb (at the time, 39 years old,  6'1" and 220 pounds) overwhelmed Simpson (18, 135 pounds and 5'5"). Witnesses saw Teichrieb kick, punch and drag Simpson along Holt Street. Police arrived to find Teichrieb straddling Simpson with the bat, now bloodied nearby. Teichrieb was arrested and Simpson was sent to hospital, where he was rushed to emergency surgery with a fractured skull, among other injuries, consistent with blunt force trauma.

Afterward, Teichrieb told police he didn't mean to kill Simpson.

The facts continued to describe Simpson's experiences since the incident, detailing his 10 months in a coma, illnesses and infections. In March 2017 he began to become responsive to sounds, and by April of that year he was able to give a thumbs up.

However, according to the statement of facts, his doctor stated he will need 24-hour care for the rest of his life, due to diminished mental abilities, communication abilities and physical abilities. He's not expected to walk again, or improve much beyond the state he's in now. He still has surgeries planned related to the assault and is paralyzed on his left side.

In Susan Simpson's (Jessie's mother) impact statement, read by Crown counsel, she described the family's struggle since the assault. 

"It literally took my breath away," she said of arriving at the hospital, not knowing what had happened to her son. "I couldn't recognize him."

Initially, she thought he'd been in a car accident until doctors explained what had happened. Then she and her family had to decide whether to take Simpson off life support, and while they decided to wait, she did sign a do-not-resuscitate form. The decision to keep Simpson on life support is one her family has struggled with since then. 

"It was so painful to watch my son suffer so much."

Simpson's family wept as the statement was being read.

Not wanting to leave Simpson's bedside, Susan lost her job.

And while he's conscious now, he requires constant care. The statement included comments that Interior Health is understaffed and she's concerned about the care he has and will receive in a long-term facility.

The defence also spoke about Teichrieb, who they portrayed as a family man pushed to a breaking point. Before the incident, he had no criminal record. He has three children, two of which were in Kamloops at the time. Two are on the autistic spectrum. The defence also brought up volunteer work Teichrieb had done before, along with the fact he'd been a tradesperson for 18 years who ran a local business for nine years working with concrete. His father took over the business, but after he had a stroke it closed. 

"It was an accumulation of things," stated the defence. "On June 19, it came to a head."

Teichrieb has also completed programs while serving time after the assault, including a violence prevention program.

In a joint submission, defence and Crown agreed seven years minus time served would be an appropriate sentence based on previous similar cases. Teichrieb has spent nearly 800 days in custody (he was released in August to spend time with his father after his father's stroke). 

When asked if he would like to make a statement himself, Teichrieb said he has plenty to say but would keep it short, telling the court he'd "hurt a lot of people."

"I have to live with it for the rest of my life," he said apologetically.

Susan walked out during the statement.

On Tuesday afternoon, a judge sentenced Teichrieb to seven years in prison, minus time served. That equates to 44 more months behind bars, or three years and eight months.