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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Survey suggests 83 per cent of Surreyites ‘favour a referendum’ on policing transition

Survey was conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights on behalf of the National Police Federation

Racist graffiti sparks Cloverdale man to renew calls for City to clean up street

Hate message the latest garbage dumped at the end of 176th Street

‘A bag full of garbage every 15 metres’: Surrey industrial area filled with trash

Local workers looking to recruit business, raise funds to help dispose of litter

Brand new Tesla crashes into Surrey store front, mounts gas line

Driver was heading to the Autoplan store, straight off the lot

Surrey RCMP looking for missing 21-year-old

Police say Kenny Tran was last seen at around 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 19

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

New Alberta forward joins Vancouver Giants’ ranks

new left-handed 18-year-old is a familiar face to Giants head coach Michael Dyck

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay B.C. man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

Mugging with airsoft gun results in Langley school lockdown

Police found the weapon and a stolen phone later

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Chilliwack physiotherapist charged with sexual assault

Mounties urging other potential victims to make contact

Most Read

l -->