UPDATE: Kelowna man sentenced for planned murder of daughters hours after killing their mother - InfoNews

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UPDATE: Kelowna man sentenced for planned murder of daughters hours after killing their mother

Jacob and Clara Forman are seen in a family photo posted to Facebook.
Image Credit: Submitted
September 16, 2019 - 4:39 PM

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UPDATE: FORMAN SENTENCED TO LIFE IMPRISONMENT WITH NO PAROLE FOR 35 YEARS

KELOWNA - For killing his wife and two young daughters Jacob Forman was sentenced to life in prison, with no parole eligibility for 35 years.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Allan Betton handed down what will be a precedent-setting sentence for B.C. Sept. 16, at the end of a day-long hearing.

"This breach of trust of such young children, vulnerable and trusting of their father was horrific," Betton said.

Forman killed his wife out of anger Dec. 17, 2017 because she was scolding him about his drinking, Betton heard as the hearing got underway.

He went on to murder his two young daughters later that same day because he thought it would be better that they “go home to heaven than to grow up in a world where their daddy killed their mommy,” Crown counsel Murray Kaay told a packed courtroom Monday, Sept. 16 for Jacob's sentencing hearing.

The details of the 2017 murder have never previously been revealed, and hearing them shook the dozens who sat in the court gallery.

READ MORE: Remembering Clara

Muffled sobs could be heard from Clara’s friends, who appeared in court wearing shirts that read “this one’s for Clara” or wearing buttons with a picture of her and her daughters in happier times.

Those happier days are something Forman referred to in his Dec. 27, 2017 confession, which was read to the court as part of an agreed statement of fact. Forman pleaded guilty to the murders.

“He and Clara were deeply in love and their house was full of joy, but several years later he’d been drinking a lot… and that led to family discord,” Kaay said, reading from the confession.

On that day, Clara walked into the bedroom she shared with her husband Jacob to talk to him about his excessive drinking when he hit her on the head with a small sledgehammer.

She fell down, screamed and asked: “what are you doing?” He hit her again, twice, until she stopped moving altogether and strangled her to make sure she died.

Kaay said Jacob told RCMP during this confession his daughters then ran to the door to ask what happened, and Jacob told them mommy was scared by a spider.

READ MORE: Family reacts to sentence

He then got up, left the room and carried on the day as though nothing happened. They shovelled the driveway and went to church. There, Jacob opted to stay late to help stack chairs. When they returned home they watched some Netflix and one after the other, Jacob killed his daughters — first Yesenia, age 7, then Karina, age 8.

Jacob told RCMP that both girls were led to believe they were playing a game. They were asked to stand on their head, and then when they got back to their feet, lightheaded, Jacob strangled them. He said they lost consciousness quickly. He also said the little girls never knew Clara died.

READ MORE: Dad pleads guilty

 

He then transferred Clara’s body to a sleeping bag, bound her wrists and ankles, and the girls were placed in Rubbermaid containers.

All were transferred to the garage and Jacob "loaded his gun and got ready to kill himself,” said Kaay.

Jacob never got around to it.

He went to work on Monday then after work, he went to Canadian Tire and Dollarama to buy cleaning supplies.

He was sitting on the bed with the rifle on that Monday when there was a knock at the door.

It was the RCMP who had been called to make a wellness check after Clara missed a shift at Goodlife Fitness.

He sent them away, the court heard, because there was still blood on the floor where Clara had died and a loaded rifle on the bed.

When they returned, he’d cut the piece of bloody carpet out of the ground and put away the rifle.

It didn’t take long once they returned however, to find the three bodies in the garage.

Police read Jacob his rights and ultimately charged him with one count of second degree murder and two counts of first degree murder.

Each murder conviction comes with a mandatory life sentence. Parole eligibility is set at 25 years for first degree murder and Kaay is seeking parole eligibility of 10 years for Clara’s murder.

Kaay is seeking to have Jacob’s sentence for murdering his daughters served concurrently, with 10 years added on for Clara's murder.

Kaay told the court since 2011 when the Conservative government amended the Canadian Criminal Code to allow for consecutive sentences in the case of multiple murders, the character of the offender, and the nature of offences was weighed, leaving it open to Justice Allen Betton to combine the sentences.

In response, Jacob's lawyer Ray Dieno said that the court should show some mercy because Forman had, until the moment he killed his wife, been a good person.

In fact, he said, even while in prison his psychologist said despite feelings of "guilt and a sense of worthlessness" Jacob made an effort to help others.

"He was remorseful, tearful, filled with self-loathing and worthlessness," said Dieno.

All this, and the people who knew him before still found cause to offer their support. Forman, Dieno said, was a person who was well respected, well-liked and well appreciated.

"Just a few days ago he (was contacted by) Clara’s father, who said he loved him and prayed for him every day," Dieno said. "Obviously these are heinous acts, his children and wife are dead — this is a tragic, horrible situation."

But to sentence him to consecutive life sentences without eligibility for parole for 35 years would be too much, he said.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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