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

Skeena MLA advocates for small LNG project in Terrace

Many questions unanswered about project, say opponents

Terrace RCMP respond to firearms call on South Side

One person arrested without incident

The Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine office in Terrace is now open to the public

The office has been closed since March 17 due to COVID-19

New technology is helping battle avalanches near Stewart

The automated avalanche detection system just finished a successful first season

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Facing changes together: your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit was en route as whale broke free from prawn trap line

Racist incident shocks Vancouver Island First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP investigating after video shows truck wheeling through Tseshaht territory

Vancouver Island school principal mourns brother, cousin killed during U.S. protests

Jelks says he’s grateful for the outpouring of support from the community in the wake of this tragedy

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Bank of Canada keeps key interest rate target on hold at 0.25%

Central bank now expects GDP to decline between 10 and 20 per cent compared with the fourth quarter of 2019

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

B.C. schools see 30% of expected enrolment as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Most Read