Friends and colleagues of murder victim Clara Forman gathered at the Kelowna courthouse on Monday to watch as her husband’s sentencing hearing got underway.
They wore black T-shirts with the phrase “This one’s for Clara” on the front and three hearts on the back. The hearts symbolized Clara and her two young daughters, eight-year-old Yesenia and seven-year-old Karina.
“We never want to forget Clara and her girls,” said Diane Carlson, who worked with Clara at Good Life Fitness.
Jacob Forman has pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder of his daughters and the second-degree murder of his wife. Judge Allan Betton sentenced him on Monday to consecutive life sentences for the killings.
Outside the courthouse, Carlson said Clara Forman was a much-valued member of the Good Life Fitness team.
“Clara was the most beautiful, warm, loving, kind — I can’t find enough words to describe her. She was incredible,” Carlson said.
“She would be able to seek you out when you came to the gym and make you feel part of the family, make you feel loved,” Carlson said.
Clara often brought her two daughters, who were home-schooled, to the gym, Carlson said.
“Her and the girls were just so very special,” Carlson said. “This has left a hole in our lives . . . a hole that can’t be filled.”
Clara’s sister and parents live in the United States and did not attend the sentencing hearing. Victim impact statements from her sister and father were entered at the sentencing hearing, but the letters were not read aloud. Clara’s family is dealing with “incredible grief,” Crown prosecutor Murray Kaay said.
Carlson, who alerted police when Clara Forman did not show up for work on Dec. 19, 2017, said it was important for her and the others to be at court: “We wanted to be here to represent her family, who cannot be here, and just to show the love that she gave to us.”