Love triangle involving prostitute triggered Chilliwack murder

Automatic life sentence as Gerald Dolman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of Robert Splitt

RCMP and paramedics attempt to resuscitate Rob Splitt who was stabbed multiple times in a Chilliwack parking lot on May 3, 2016. (Progress file) Greg Knill/ Progress file RCMP and paramedics attempt to resuscitate Robert Splitt who was stabbed multiple times in a Chilliwack parking lot on May 3, 2016.

The man who killed Robert Splitt – known to his friends as “Igor” — in broad daylight downtown Chilliwack a year and a half ago will spend at least the next 10 years in jail.

And if the judge agrees with Crown counsel’s submissions, that will be 12 years.

Gerald Leslie Dolman admitted killing Splitt when he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in a surprise move on Oct. 10, something his lawyer Chris Terepocki called a significant mitigating factor.

• READ MORE: Gerald Dolman charged with murder in Chilliwack stabbing

“That is very rare,” Terepocki said of a plea to second-degree murder, a conviction that comes with an automatic life sentence.

The only question for BC Supreme Court Justice Palbinder Shergill is how many years until parole eligibility for Dolman. The minimum is 10, what Dolman is asking for, with Crown counsel Paul Blessin suggesting that 12 years is called for in this case.

The case involved a love triangle between the two men and a woman who worked as a prostitute named Rebecca Burns.

Terepocki said the 65-year-old had spent tens of thousands of dollars over prior months buying drugs for Burns in exchange for sex. But Burns was Splitt’s girlfriend and on the day of the incident, a neighbour told Dolman she had stolen $600 from him.

“That is indeed what kicked off Mr. Dolman’s rage,” Terepocki said, adding that Dolman concluded at that moment that Burns and Splitt may have been bilking him of money for some time.

“Mr. Dolman believed these two were operating as a team to pilfer money from him,” he added.

An hour after finding out about the alleged $600 theft late afternoon on May 6, 2016, and after a cyclist was hit nearby, Dolman ran into the car driven by Splitt in front of the Save-On-Foods at Salish Plaza. Burns was also in the vehicle.

WARNING: Some might find the content of this video disturbing

After Dolman stabbed Splitt in the car, the 49-year-old victim got away briefly but Dolman pursued him, continuing to stab him even on the ground, in front of horrified onlookers at the plaza.

“Our victim in this was no angel,” Blessin told the court adding, however, that nothing he did legitimately triggered the attack.

“He was stabbed multiple times while helpless on the ground.”

Blessin outlined some case law that suggested courts should not go to the default minimum of 10 years before parole eligibility, but rather that judges have the discretion for longer terms, even in cases that do not involve torture or other significant aggravating factors.

He suggested for serious cases that involved some level of planning, 12 to 15 years was suitable, with more serious cases 15 to 20. Given Dolman’s early guilty plea and his lack of a criminal record, Blessin said 12 was the right number.

Terepocki suggested that even at the age of 65 facing 10 years, given his 31 years of sobriety attending Alcoholics Anonymous, Dolman is a good candidate for rehabilitation.

He also took some issue with the pre-sentence report author’s conclusion that Dolman was not remorseful for killing Splitt.

“He comes before this court expressing remorse,” Terepocki said. “He is deeply ashamed for what he did.”

As he has done at all his court appearances, Dolman sat emotionless in the prisoner’s box with a shaved head with a trim white goatee, black-rimmed glasses dressed in prison-issue red sweatshirt and pants.

Justice Shergill said she would give her oral reasons for sentencing on Friday.

READ MORE: Daylight stabbing death preliminary inquiry begins in Chilliwack court


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Langley couple reunite with Tugger three years after his disappearance

A purebred Pomeranian is back with his parents, likely after years in a puppy mill.

Lower Mainland cools down as heat wave lifts

Environment Canada predicts temperatures in the mid to low 20s

Fraser Health launches new drug-use support team to curb overdoses

Nearly 200 people have been killed by illicit drug overdoses in the region so far in 2018

Langley twins sell out sixth cancer fundraising concert

This Saturday’s Gone Country - Here for the Cure is a multi-artist show raising money for the cause.

Langley man fights for his life against flesh eating disease

The rare infection has landed Rob Erke in hospital since July 7.

VIDEO: Plant lovers helped raise more than $2,000 for charity

A Langley nursery opened up their private gardens for the 17th year in a row.

UPDATED: Divers search for missing swimmer at Buntzen Lake near Coquitlam

A 19-year-old man was reported missing at 4:30 p.m Tuesday

5 to start your day

Campfire ban comes into effect, Rich Coleman backs away from Surrey mayorship and more

Kitten OK after being rescued from underground pipe in B.C.

An adventurous feline has been rescued after getting trapped in an underground pipe in Kamloops, B.C.

A day after back-tracking, Trump defends summit performance

Amid bipartisan condemnation of his embrace of a longtime U.S. enemy, Trump at first sought to end 27 hours of recrimination by delivering a rare admission of error Tuesday.

Thai soccer players rescued from cave meet the media

Members of the Thai youth soccer team who were trapped in a cave have left the hospital where they have been treated since their rescue.

Elon Musk apologizes for calling cave rescue diver a ‘pedo’

Musk called a British diver involved in the Thailand cave rescue a pedophile to his 22.3 million Twitter followers on July 15.

Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Most Read