A pre-sentence report was heard in BC Supreme Court in Chilliwack on Nov. 27, 2017 for Gerald Dolman who pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of Robert Splitt May 3, 2016. (Progress file)

A pre-sentence report was heard in BC Supreme Court in Chilliwack on Nov. 27, 2017 for Gerald Dolman who pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of Robert Splitt May 3, 2016. (Progress file)

Killer sentenced for ‘brutal’ downtown Chilliwack stabbing

Automatic life sentence for Gerald Dolman with no chance of parole for 11 years

Calling it a “senseless” act and a “brutal crime,” a BC Supreme Court justice sentenced Gerald Dolman on Friday to life in prison with no chance of parole for 11 years for the brazen daylight killing of a man downtown Chilliwack last year.

Robert Splitt was stabbed at least 52 times in front of dozens of witnesses in front of the Save-On-Foods on May 6, 2016.

The incident was confusing for those in the downtown area at the time as simultaneously someone was struck by a train in an unrelated incident at the Young Road crossing. And before the stabbing, Dolman struck cyclist Norm McDermid and also caused a multi-car accident.

• READ MORE: Gerald Dolman charged with murder in Chilliwack stabbing

Defence lawyer Chris Terepocki said the 65-year-old had spent tens of thousands of dollars over prior months buying drugs for a woman named Rebecca Burns in exchange for sex. They even formed somewhat of a relationship. But Burns was Splitt’s girlfriend and on the day of the incident, a neighbour told Dolman she had stolen $600 from him.

“Mr. Dolman believed these two were operating as a team to pilfer money from him,” Terepocki said.

Dolman pursued Splitt in his car, crashed into his car in the parking lot at the Save-On. Burns fled the vehicle while Dolman stabbed Splitt through the window of the car. The 49-year-old victim got away briefly but Dolman pursued him, continuing to stab him even on the ground, in front of horrified onlookers at the plaza.

Witnesses flagged down a police officer who attended to find Dolman covered in blood standing over Splitt’s body. Neither the officer nor paramedics were able to revive Splitt who died at the scene.

A trial was avoided with a surprise guilty plea in October.

Crown counsel asked for 12 years before parole eligibility, Dolman asked for 10.

BC Supreme Court Justice Palbinder Shergill split the difference with 11 years, adding a lifetime weapons ban and a lifetime no-contact order with Rebecca Burns, the woman in the car with Splitt at the time of the attack, and the central figure in the romantic triangle.

Shergill pointed out the killing was the result of a fit of rage by a man who now “will spend most of the remainder of his golden years behind bars.”

As at all court appearances, Dolman wore the standard prison-issue orange track suit, and sat in the prisoner’s box slouching against the wall with his arms crossed, eliciting no emotion at any point.

Shergill listed the victims beyond Splitt in the crime, which included the dozens of people who likely experienced trauma watching the stabbing, McDermid who experienced permanent injuries, but most of all Splitt’s children and grandchildren.

“There is no sentence that will bring Mr. Splitt back to his family,” she said.

• READ MORE: Surprise guilty plea in 2016 homicide downtown Chilliwack

After the sentencing Friday, friends of Splitt said the sentence wasn’t long enough for what they say was a pre-meditated stabbing of a man who did nothing wrong to Dolman.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

RCMP and paramedics attempt to resuscitate Rob Splitt who was stabbed multiple times in a Chilliwack parking lot on May 3, 2016. (Progress file)                                Greg Knill/ Progress file                                RCMP and paramedics attempt to resuscitate Robert Splitt who was stabbed multiple times in a Chilliwack parking lot on May 3, 2016.

RCMP and paramedics attempt to resuscitate Rob Splitt who was stabbed multiple times in a Chilliwack parking lot on May 3, 2016. (Progress file) Greg Knill/ Progress file RCMP and paramedics attempt to resuscitate Robert Splitt who was stabbed multiple times in a Chilliwack parking lot on May 3, 2016.

Just Posted

FILE
70 per cent of people aged 12 and older in Agassiz-Harrison have been vaccinated

More than 80 per cent of adults aged 50 and older have been vaccinated, as of June 10

Raeya Evie Duncan was the 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital for the month of May. She is seen here with her parents Alysha Williams and Andrew Duncan on June 12, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Baby boom in Chilliwack as record number of infants born at CGH in May

‘COVID babies are coming out,’ says dad of 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital last month

Agassiz Agricultural Hall hosts COVID-19 vaccination clinics every Wednesday. District officials reported more than 300 doses are administered per week. (Adam Louis/Observer)
Walk-in COVID vaccine clinic scheduled for Wednesday

Walk-in appointments available while supplies last from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Migrating sockeye in the Fraser River August 7, 2007. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
First Nations, commercial, and recreational harvesters join forces to save Fraser River fish

‘We have to work together to rebuild these stocks while there is still time,’ says delegate

Dozens of demonstrators gathered in March at the Hope Station House, showing support for preserving the 1916 building. (Photo/Christian Ward)
New reports breathe life into efforts to save the Hope Station House

The documents were presented to District of Hope Council at a meeting June 14

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Most Read