GUILTY: Kelowna man admits he murdered his wife and daughters | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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GUILTY: Kelowna man admits he murdered his wife and daughters

Jacob Forman pleaded guilty to the murder of his wife and children.
September 05, 2019 - 3:03 PM

KELOWNA - Jacob Forman pleaded guilty today to the 2017 murders of his wife and two young daughters.

The Kelowna man was in court  shackled and wearing prison red, when he entered the surprise pleas of guilty to the first degree murder of his two elementary school age daughters, Karina and Yesenia, and second degree murder of his wife Clara.

Forman's defence lawyer, Ray Dieno, said that the decision to plead guilty came on the heels of understanding what the charges against him meant.

"It's been a long process dealing with his grief over what happened and understanding the legal consequences of his actions and understanding the law," Dieno said.

Dieno pointed out that Forman said he was "responsible but not guilty" when asked to enter a plea earlier this week. That disconnect between "responsible" and "guilty" came from not realizing that he didn't have to plan to kill his children well in advance of doing so.

"What he didn’t understand is that planning doesn't mean you sit down for a long time and plan and deliberate it … it could be within a minute," said Dieno. "He had a hard time understanding that."

While the circumstances of the night he murdered his family have yet to come to light, Forman has told Dieno that alcoholism played a role.

"Alcohol really (had) a devastating effect on this man’s mind according to him," Dieno said. "Whether an expert would agree with that, we are in the process of getting that determined... He was in the process of withdrawal because he was of the view he was not helping his family by being (an) alcoholic...He was  using excessive amounts and he went into withdrawal. He tried to withdraw without support or treatment and that obviously led to devastating consequences.."

Sentencing is scheduled for later this month and Dieno said that he will ask Justice Allan Betton that Forman get concurrent sentences. The sentence for first and second degree murder is life, though parole eligibility varies.

Crown counsel Murray Kaay is expected to ask the court to sentence Forman concurrently for the two children's murders and add another 10 years for the murder of his wife.  

"The defence view is life is life," said Dieno. "This is a 35-year-old who might be 60, 70 80 years old  when he’s on the street, with no friends and no family."

According to information on the charges, the murders are alleged to have happened some time between Dec. 17 and Dec. 21, 2017, in the Bolotzky Court home in Rutland where the family lived and was found.

Clara Forman was originally from Mexico and worked at GoodLife Fitness. She wrote on Facebook that she met Forman 12 years before her death.

“Met in January, started dating in July, engaged Oct. 27 married three weeks later on Nov. 11 at sunset. When I married Jacob Forman I left everything I knew to come to Canada and build a life,” she wrote in a Facebook post, Nov. 11, 2015.

“God blessed our feeble efforts with good jobs, good friends, a great church family and most importantly, two of the best little humans a couple of people could ask for. Ten years later you are still the person I want to grow old with.”

Forman has no previous criminal record in B.C.

A plumber, he was raised in Quesnel and social media indicates he lived in Vernon.

Jacob and Clara Forman in family photos posted to Facebook.
Jacob and Clara Forman in family photos posted to Facebook.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Facebook

— With files from Rob Munro

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