Friends of Angela Dalman called her a “shining light” on Tuesday after a judge sentenced the man who killed her to life in prison with no parole for 14 years.
Speaking outside the courthouse on Tuesday (Aug. 23), Lisa Robertson wanted to keep the focus on how beautiful a person Dalman was. As one of her best friends, she recalled how the 40-year-old mother would stop her truck in the street and hand out food to the less fortunate.
“She was such a generous, generous person,” Robertson said. “She made everybody feel like she was their very best friend, she really did.”
The judge presiding over the case accepted a joint submission by Crown and defence lawyers that will see Anthony Dheensaw ineligible for parole for 14 years. His second-degree murder conviction carries an automatic life sentence, in which he will serve nine years concurrently for his attempted murder conviction.
In her decision, the judge noted how friends and family fought through tears to speak about the profound devastation that Dalman’s death had on them, and how they continue to be overwhelmed with sadness.
Dheensaw shot and killed Dalman after mistaking her for another woman on March 6, 2020. During the sentencing hearing, the court heard how Dheensaw stayed at a home in the 800-block of Arncote Avenue in Langford for two days before he was told to leave, but he repeatedly refused. He was then kicked out after a man assaulted him. He returned to the home later that night with a rifle, looking to shoot the man and woman who lived in the home.
Dheensaw shot Dalman in the shoulder after mistaking her for the woman who lived in the home and before attempting to fire at the male homeowner. Dalman did not survive the shoulder gunshot wound.
The judge considered Dheensaw’s criminal history, his use of a firearm and how the shooting was unprovoked. She stated the now 38-year-old tried to better himself in 2008, after previous convictions, with schooling and work. She also said his multiple sclerosis diagnosis affected his ability to continue his education and stay employed. The judge said Dheensaw’s life spiralled downward in 2015 and he started to abuse cocaine, which would become an addiction after he was attacked with a knife in 2017.
While presenting victim impact statements, friends and family of Dalman said they will never recover from her being taken from them, with several saying the murder affects them on a daily basis. Dalman was known for always smiling and bringing laughter everywhere she went.
“She was the best mother I could ever ask for,” her son told the court. “It is hard for me to think about the future without her and everything that is going to happen to me that she will not be there for. If I have kids, she will never get to see them and they will not get to know the wonderful person she was.”
Outside the courthouse, Roberston added, “we just want her to be remembered as the person she was, and she was so much more than this crime.”
She noted loved ones will somehow have to learn how to live without Dalman. “It’s an enormous loss, enormous.”
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