Kelowna father Jacob Forman was sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court to life in prison without the chance of parole for 35 years for the murder of his wife Clara and two daughters, seven-year-old Karina and eight-year-old Yesenia.
The 35-year-old earlier pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder and two counts of first-degree murder for the incidents which occurred on Dec. 17, 2017.
Judge Allan Betton accepted the sentence put forward by the Crown that will see Forman serve 25 years concurrently for the death of his daughters, plus another 10 years for the murder of his wife before he gets a shot at parole. With time served, he will spend 33 more years behind bars. He will be nearly 70-years-old at that point.
While the Multiple Murders Act was introduced to the Criminal Code in 2011 to allow murder sentences to be served consecutively, this marks the first time in B.C. this kind of sentence has been given for somebody convicted of multiple murders.
The defence was arguing for a 25-year sentence with all three convictions served concurrently.
“He’s going to need these years to gain that insight and heal from it, but he’s a person who at least the community around him believes he’s redeemable,” Defence attorney Raymond Dieno told the court before the decision was made.
“He was remorseful, tearful, filled with self-loathing and worthlessness.
“He’s not a monster.”
The Crown and Betton felt otherwise. Betton said he could not treat the three murders as one because there were several hours between the incidents. Clara was killed early on Dec. 17 then murdered his daughters that night.
“These were deliberate and horrific acts,” Betton said as he read Forman’s sentence.
Upon Betton’s adjournment of processions, Forman was escorted from the courtroom. He waved goodbye to his family members in the gallery on his way out.
Several of the people in attendance, however, were not Forman’s family, but rather Clara’s co-workers and friends, several of whom donned shirts that read “this one’s for Clara.”
Clara’s former co-worker at GoodLife Fitness, Diane Carlson, was one member of that group. She said they were there due to the majority of Clara’s family being in America, unable to attend.
“She was incredible,” Carlson said. “She was the most beautiful person you’d ever meet. She would be able to seek you out when you came to the gym and make you feel a part of the family, make you feel loved, just feel a part of the family there.
“It’s left a hole in all of our lives and in our hearts.”
Jacob Forman sentenced to 35 years before a shot at parole for the murder of his wife and daughters. The consecutive sentencing is the first of its kind in British Columbia. @KelownaCapNews #ylw pic.twitter.com/TwgQkfXmgg— Michael Rodriguez (@MichaelRdrguez) September 16, 2019