Two more years for American convicted of attempted murder in Saanich

A saga of jilted love and attempted murder in Saanich came to an end today in B.C. Supreme Court

A saga of jilted love and attempted murder in Saanich came to an end today in B.C. Supreme Court after an American man was sentenced to two years, minus one day, in prison.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Gaul sentenced David Goldberg, 40, to nine and a half years for the attempted murder of Tatcha Aroonjaratsang and her husband Jeremy Walsh outside their Merriman Drive home four years ago.

But the judge awarded Goldberg seven and a half years of time served for spending the last three years and eight months held at the Vancouver Island Correctional Centre on Wilkinson Road, leaving a sum total of two years behind bars.

Another 18 months was tacked on for the conviction of making an explosive, but the sentences run concurrently.

Defense lawyer Robert Mulligan said his client could seek parole within a year. When released from prison, Goldberg will be deported immediately from Canada, likely to California.

Once released, Goldberg is prohibited from entering Canada for three years under his probation order, and Mulligan said it is likely Canadian Border Services Agency would prevent his client from ever entering Canada again.

“The question will be raised if there is any need to keep him here until the very last day because he will be deported to the U.S.,” Mulligan said outside the Victoria courthouse. “Mr. Goldberg is a good man who made a terrible mistake. I’m optimistic he will make a persuasive argument to the parole board.”

Mulligan called his client a “survivor.”

“His overall approach is like any human in custody,” he said. “He’d like to return to his friends and family. Naturally he’s disappointed. On the other hand its not an extraordinarily long period before he is released.”

Mulligan wouldn’t say if Goldberg would appeal is sentence, but noted he has 30 days to do so.

Crown counsel had argued for a sentence from 10 to 17 years and Mulligan suggested one month to allow the process for Goldberg to be deported. The judge found a middle ground.

In his arguments for sentencing, Gaul noted that Goldberg didn’t have a criminal record, suffered serious, life-threatening injuries in the Sept. 24, 2008 confrontation with the victims, and has a likelihood of restarting his career as an electrical engineer and a productive member of U.S. society.

On the other hand, Goldberg went to great lengths and deception to locate Aroonjaratsang, his former fiancée, after she had broken off their relationship in early 2008, and after he had given her family $30,000.

He bought a handgun and shotgun, and assembled equipment and materials that could be fashioned into a bomb, the judge pointed out. During the confrontation on Merriman Drive, Goldberg “cocked and pointed the firearm directly at (Aroonjaratsang and Walsh) and told them they were both going to die.”

The gun discharged three times during his struggle with the couple, and the engineer was stabbed six times and nearly died.

Despite a certain amount of planning for a violent confrontation, Gaul said he isn’t convinced that Goldberg committed first-degree attempted murder, that he didn’t have a clear plan in mind and believed he still could reconcile with his former girlfriend.

“He hadn’t made up his mind until he realized effort in speaking to Ms. Aroonjaratsang was futile,” Gaul said.

“It hadn’t crystalized until Sept. 24 when he confronted them in front of the house … He went to great lengths to prepare for killing, but his intentions were not clear until Sept. 24.”

Gaul admonished Goldberg for acting in an extremely reckless fashion by walking into a dispute with a loaded gun in a residential neighbourhood. The judge noted that during the trial, Aroonjaratsang and Walsh testified that they remain emotionally traumatized and fearful Goldberg will seek retribution.

“He brazenly entered a quiet neighbourhood in Saanich, brandished a firearm, pointed it at two people,” Gaul said. “Only by sheer luck no one was hit by any bullet and Mr. Goldberg didn’t face a murder charge.”

Mulligan said his client hasn’t contact either person since his arrest and new understands the consequences of his actions. In jail, the Cornell University graduate has kept up his studies of microwave engineering, the lawyer said.

“He his no longer in that dark, despondent, weakened state when these things happened.”

editor@saanichnews.com

 

Just Posted

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in Saanich parkland

The birds don’t often touch down in the south of the Island

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

Barriers to rental housing brought on by no-pet rules add stress to renters, says councillor. (Pixabay)
Saanich councillor wants to remove barriers to housing for pet owners

Motion calling for province to amend lease stipulations against pet ownership defeated in 5-4 vote

A sketch of the multi-use path that will connect Lagoon Beach and Royal Beach in Colwood. (Sketch courtesy of the City of Colwood)
Concepts for Colwood beach connector coming to council June 21

Major infrastructure project includes gathering places, public amenities and pathways

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Most Read