KELOWNA, B.C. A man wept as he pleaded guilty Thursday to killing his wife and two young daughters days before Christmas in 2017.
Jacob Forman entered guilty pleas in B.C. Supreme Court to one count of second-degree murder in the death of his wife Clara Forman and two charges of first-degree murder for the deaths of seven-year-old Karina and eight-year-old Yesenia.
Their bodies were found in the family’s home in Kelowna, B.C., on Dec. 19, 2017.
Crown attorney Murray Kay said he would seek consecutive sentences, while defence lawyer Raymond Dieno said he would ask the court for concurrent sentences.
Outside court, Dieno said Forman killed his family as he was going through an extreme case of alcohol withdrawal.
He said Forman was a functioning alcoholic and had stopped drinking at the time he killed his wife and daughters.
Given his alcoholism, Forman originally believed he had a defence to offer to the murder charges, Dieno said.
“He was of the view that he had a mental state defence,” Dieno said.
The lawyer said an expert report retained by the defence prompted Forman’s guilty pleas.
“The report from the expert was such that (Forman) thought he should plead guilty,” Dieno said.
The Crown and the defence will enter an agreed statement of facts along with sentencing recommendations on Sept. 16 before Justice Allan Betton delivers a sentence.
When Forman’s trial began on Tuesday, he was asked how he pleaded and he replied: “I am responsible, but I’m not guilty of what the Crown is saying.”
The trial also heard Forman confessed to police on Dec. 27, 2017, and made confession-like statements to his brother and his pastor and in letters to family friends.
A conviction of first-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence without chance of parole for 25 years. A second-degree murder conviction also carries a life sentence, but with parole eligibility set by the court at between 10 and 25 years.