'Guilty' a long time coming

Prior to Jacob Forman's sentencing hearing next week for killing his wife and two young daughters, Clara Forman's sister says it's been a very long time coming.

Jacob Forman was arrested on Dec. 19, 2017 after the bodies of Clara and their two daughters, eight-year-old Karina and seven-year-old Yesenia, were found in an exterior garage of the family's home.

While Forman confessed to the murders just eight days after his arrest, he pleaded not guilty to the two counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder, and sought to have his confession deemed inadmissible during the trial, almost two years after his arrest.

Last week, three days into a voir dire to determine the admissibility of evidence, Forman instead pleaded guilty to the murders.

From her home in Portland, Ore., April Carlson said the guilty pleas from her sister's killer came as some relief.

“There's some relief attached to it, but honestly with how long everything has taken and how drawn out the process has been, it's very, very hard to really take on faith that it's coming to a close,” she said.

“It's been a long time for us to be worried and to be patient. It's the biggest exercise in patience for everybody to kind of wait to see how everything was going to work itself out.”

Clara was born in Southern California and the majority of her family still lives there. She moved to Canada shortly after she and Jacob were married in 2005, to be closer to Jacob's family.

“Clara made a lot of friends, she made a family out of loved ones in Canada, not a single one of them related to her by blood,” Carlson said. “She has a very, very large amount of people that are mourning her and going through this entire process right along with us as if we've always been related and known each other.”

Carlson says Clara never compromised with anything she did in her life.

“She decided to be in love and be married and to be a parent and she never hesitated about that. She never second guessed or thought that she would not do well with it. And she was a wonderful mom and she was a wonderful wife. That was just her general attitude with everything she wanted to do.”

Following his guilty pleas last week, Forman's lawyer Ray Dieno said his client was an alcoholic, who was going through withdrawal when he killed his family.

Carlson says they had no indication of any problems in Clara's relationship, prior to the tragedy.

“My parents had been there just a couple of months, maybe less than that, before she passed away, and they were there for two weeks with the family and the children, and there were no signs of anything big going on,” she said.

Forman’s sentencing hearing is scheduled to begin Sept. 16. The Crown is seeking a life sentence with no parole eligibility for at least 35 years, which would be the longest sentence ever issued in B.C.

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