Woman who stabbed stranger with needle outside busy grocery store not criminally responsible

Stabbed with needle at store

A Kamloops woman who stabbed a stranger with a needle outside a busy Sahali grocery store has been found not criminally responsible by way of a mental disorder.

Chelcey Rayel Hodder, 38, appeared via video in Kamloops provincial court on Thursday from a prison in Maple Ridge.

Court heard a man was with his family in the parking lot of the Real Canadian Superstore on Aug. 15, 2020, when Hodder approached.

“She asked him if he knew about a woman that was overdosing and he said no,” Crown prosecutor Katie Bouchard said in court.

“Then, suddenly and without warning, she stabbed him in the arm with a needle. He says she also said something about, ‘You’re effing dead now’ — and then she ran away.”

Court heard Hodder was arrested later that day. She told police she saved someone from overdose by stabbing them with a needle containing naloxone, and later told a similar story to a doctor at Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam.

Court heard a psychiatrist determined Hodder should be found not criminally responsible for the attack. Diagnosed schizophrenic, Hodder was off her medication at the time and wrongly believed the man was suffering an overdose.

“It was a delusion that Ms. Hodder was suffering from,” Bouchard said.

“Ms. Hodder told [the psychiatrist] that she was late for her injectable medication by about a week or two at the time of this offence — and that’s important, I submit. There is also an indication she’d been using illicit drugs the day before.”

Bouchard said the incident had “a considerable impact” on the victim.

“He had to go for bloodwork over a period of many months — at least six months — following the incident, to ensure he had not contracted any communicable diseases from the needle poke,” she said.

“Thankfully, he did not. However, his mental health has suffered significantly from this random attack. … He is physically fine from this incident, but emotionally it had quite an impact on him.”

Kamloops provincial court Judge Lorianna Bennett accepted the psychiatrist's finding and ruled Hodder not criminally responsible by way of a mental disorder (NCRMD), meaning she will be sent to the B.C. Review Board for disposition.

It’s not the first time Hodder has been found NCRMD. In 2018, she was found not criminally responsible on a trespassing charge.

Hodder is still facing a number of outstanding criminal allegations, including a robbery charge from an incident last summer in which she’s accused of punching a clerk in the face while stealing a bag of ice from a Kamloops convenience store.

She is due back in court on those charges on Monday.

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