In an interview following the incident, Vandenberg stated he was hearing voices that told him unless he killed his mother, unspeakable acts would occur. (Facebook)

Son found not criminally responsible in death of mother on Salt Spring Island

Martin Galen Vandenberg stated voices told him to kill her or unspeakable acts would occur

The Salt Spring Island man who was charged with the murder of his mother is not criminally responsible according to a Supreme Court ruling posted online last week.

Martin Galen Vandenberg, 24, was arrested and charged on Dec. 6, 2017 at his mother’s, Heather Jones, home. He appeared by video from the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, located on the Lower Mainland, during the sentencing hearing. He will remain in hospital until a disposition is held by the British Columbia Review Board.

Justice Jennifer Power addressed Vandenberg during the hearing to say she hoped he would be able to make use of the mental health assistance that would be provided to deal with his issues.

RELATED: Son charged in death of Salt Spring Island woman

A trial that lasted from Sept. 17 to 19, heard from two psychiatrists with similar opinions. Dr. Shabehram Lohrasbe testified, following a two and a half hour interview with Vandenberg, that he was suffering from undiagnosed schizophrenia and cannabis use disorder, adding he was psychotic at the time of the homicide.

In the weeks leading up to the offence, family members made efforts to get Vandenberg mental health or counselling help. A neighbour told the courts he had told her he was hearing voices about a month before the crime. The day before the offence, Vandenberg and his father saw an emergency room doctor and a mental health nurse. Emergency room notes stated there was evidence of delusions and an appointment was made to see the mental health nurse again three days later to fill out a mental health and substance use referral.

RELATED: Updated: Suspect in Salt Spring murder held under Mental Health Act

The appointment never happened. Vandenberg was driven home by his mother. The next day Jones’s body was found in the bathtub of her home, covered in towels and linens. She died of blunt force trauma to the head. Her two dogs were also found dead, caused by blunt force trauma to the head as well.

Vandenberg was arrested at the scene by a police officer who stated he was compliant, but seemed to be in a ‘catatonic state.’

In an interview following the incident, Vandenberg stated he was hearing voices that told him unless he killed his mother, unspeakable acts would occur.

“There is no reason of motive that emerges from the evidence. It appears [he] loved his mother, as she loved him. Again, that is on of the great tragedies of this case,” stated the Justice Power.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
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

Okanagan Spirits donating free sanitizer to those most at risk during COVID-19 pandemic

The Okanagan distillery has ceased spirits operations and has produced over 3,000 litres of sanitizer since March 26

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Living with faith

Bea Buhler is a pillar of strength at the Alliance Church

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

Second Vernon-area high school exposed to COVID-19

Kalamalka Secondary School staff, students urged to self-isolate if showing symptoms

First responders continue to rally in support of health care workers in Kelowna

Pandosy Street was packed with supporters for the second night in a row

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

Vehicle goes up in smoke in Okanagan garage

Fire department on-scene in 200 block of Poplar Point Drive near Knox Mountain in Kelowna

COSAR rescues two lost hikers from Okanagan Mountain Park

Two male hikers were overdue from a hike they left for on the morning of March 28

Most Read