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

Missing Port Alberni man found deceased

47-year-old had been missing since late June: RCMP

Longtime volunteer retires from Port Alberni’s Abbeyfield House

Doreen Bissette honoured for two decades of volunteerism

Savard prevails with best gross score at Alberni Golf Club

Men’s club prepares for ‘waltz’ on July 12

EDITORIAL: We need to check our ‘plate hate’

Suspicious border activity can be reported

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Campaign aims to raise $50K for young family of deceased Vancouver Island skydiver

James Smith, 34, died July 5 following incident in Nanoose Bay

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

B.C. ports part of data integration project to protect marine ecosystems

The $1.2 M federally funded program will draw crucial baseline data from Canada’s three coastlines

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

RCMP disarm man experiencing mental health crisis

The male pulled a knife on officers and then held it to his own throat expressing a desire to die

Most Read