U.S. man convicted of attempted murder in Saanich learns sentence Friday

An American convicted of trying to murder a Saanich couple will learn if he will face more time behind bars, or be sent home a free man.

An American engineer convicted of trying to murder a Saanich couple four years ago will learn Friday if he will face more time behind bars, or be sent home a free man.

David Ross Goldberg, 40, was found guilty last October of the attempted murder of Tatcha Aroonjaratsang and her husband Jeremy Walsh after a violent confrontation at their Cedar Hill-area home on Sept. 24, 2008. He was also convicted of making or possessing explosives.

Crown and defense councils squared off in Victoria Supreme Court at a sentencing hearing on Tuesday. Prosecutor Nils Jensen argued Goldberg coldly planned to kill his victims and should receive between 10 and 17 years in prison. Defense attorney Robert Mulligan said his client should get a month – enough time to be deported to the U.S., where he can restart his life.

Jensen painted Goldberg as a man obsessed with his former fiancée, who stalked and harassed her over social media, devised ruses to find where she lived and travelled from California to Victoria with the intent to kill her and Walsh.

Goldberg confronted Aroonjaratsang and Walsh outside their Merriman Drive home late in the evening on Sept. 24, 2008. Jensen told the court Goldberg pointed the gun and laser sight at the couple’s foreheads while uttering threats. In an ensuing fight with Walsh, the gun fired into the air and Goldberg was stabbed six times.

The prosecutor pointed out Goldberg bought a handgun and shotgun in the U.S. and purchased chemicals in Canada that could be melded into an explosive.

“This was an attempt at first degree murder. He practised with handguns, he bought a shotgun, he bought night vision goggles,” said Jensen, who is also the mayor of Oak Bay. “This attack against his ex-fiancée was planned and deliberated upon, not only with guns and explosive substances, but he left a will and a note to his dad.”

Mulligan conceded his client did indeed cross the line to be technically guilty of attempted murder – choosing his words carefully before B.C. Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Gaul, the judge who convicted Goldberg – but he maintained that Goldberg never intended to kill anyone.

Mulligan described his client at the time as a broken man in a deep depression, and who had lost his job as an top microwave engineer after his relationship with Aroonjaratsang dissolved.

“He lost what he thought was the love of his life,” Mulligan said. “The fact is this man had not formed clear plans, but was acting in the depths of darkness and despondency.”

Mulligan suggested Goldberg was motivated by recovering some $30,000 he had given Aroonjaratsang for her family in Thailand. The engineer could have easily shot the pair, the defense lawyer said, but did not.

“In the darkness of that street in Saanich, Mr. Goldberg brought a handgun with a laser sight, but he did not shoot them,” Mulligan said. “He did not come there to execute a plan to kill them. He engaged them in an awkward, frightening conversation trying to recover money he lost.

“His was a mixed up, terribly troubled mind, a despondent mind who contemplated his own end. It’s not the same as a hitman-type case where there is a planned, deliberate process.”

Goldberg has been held at the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre in Saanich for three years and seven months, the longest or one of the longest serving inmates at the remand centre. Mulligan said that “extraordinarily long time” in a remand should be worth eight years of prison time, based on the practice of awarding double time for time served.

Mulligan submitted to the judge that Goldberg should only be sentenced long enough for Canada Border Services Agency to deport him back to the U.S.

“He has in this case served all the time he should serve in prison,” Mulligan said. “He has spent a long time in remand. I’m not trying to minimize (his crimes), but I say it’s enough.”

Goldberg, shackled at the legs but wearing a blue dress shirt and a tie, took notes during proceedings and was later revealed to be reading a technical manual on microwave theory.

Given a chance to speak, Goldberg didn’t directly apologize for the crimes he was convicted of, although he said there are a “great many things I am sorry about.” He thanked his friends and supporters in Canada and the U.S., and maintained he never intended to shoot Aroonjaratsang and Walsh.

“I didn’t try to kill these people. I hurts to hear it. It’s not accurate,” Goldberg told the court. “I have learned a horrible lesson the hard way.”

Goldberg’s sentencing hearing continues Friday morning in B.C. Supreme Court in Victoria.

editor@saanichnews.com

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Victoria-born, 16-time Grammy winning musician David Foster penned a letter to the Greater Victoria School District May 7 urging them not to cut music programs. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
David Foster joins fight to save music in Greater Victoria School District

‘Music is the great equalizer’ Foster wrote in a letter to the district

‘Nindanikoobijiganag: We are Star People’ by Mississauga Nishnaabe Lucbanin artist Estrella Whetung. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Victoria beadwork exhibit speaks to evolving, enduring nature of Indigenous art

On Beaded Ground features work from West Coast artists and a Cedar Hill Middle School group

Former Victoria HarbourCat and Chicago White Sox player Andrew Vaughn. (Photo courtesy of Chicago White Sox)
Former Victoria HarbourCat hits first MLB home run, adds another two days later

Andrew Vaughn is the first HarbourCat alumni to hit a homer in the majors

A seniors housing complex proposed for Cedar Hill Road in Saanich was supported by council after a public hearing on May 12. (Rendering by Jenson Group Architects)
New 85-unit seniors housing development gets green light from Saanich council

Four-storey rental complex would be located on Cedar Hill Road

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Former UFV Cascades wrestling coach Arjan Singh Bhullar is now the ONE heavyweight champion after defeating Brandon Vera via TKO in round two on Saturday in Singapore. (ONE Championship)
Former UFV wrestling coach wins MMA championship

Arjan Singh Bhullar captures ONE heavyweight title, first Indian origin fighter to achieve honour

Astra Zeneca vaccine waits for injection in a Feb. 3, 2021 file photo. A Langley man has become the second B.C. resident to suffer a blood clot following an injection. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
B.C. man required emergency surgery after AstraZeneca vaccination

Shaun Mulldoon suffered ‘massive blood clot’ after jab

Chilliwack’s Kile Brown, performing as drag queen Hailey Adler, dances and lip syncs in front of hundreds of people during the inaugural Chilliwack Pride Barbecue at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre on Aug. 24, 2019. Monday, May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of May 16 to 22

International Day Against Homophobia, Talk Like Yoda Day, Sea Monkey Day all coming up this week

Most Read