Teary-eyed friends and family of a Langford mother who was shot and killed in 2020 spoke to the far-reaching devastation they feel on a daily basis during the first day of her murderer’s sentencing.
Anthony Dheensaw pleaded guilty on July 8 to the March 2020 second-degree murder of Angela Dalman and the attempted murder of another man.
In a Victoria courtroom on Monday, the Crown presented agreed-upon facts outlining the events leading up to the 40-year-old’s murder. Dheensaw on March 4, 2020, showed up unexpectedly at a home in the 800-block of Arncote Avenue, where a man who had bought drugs from him and a woman lived, and said he was in trouble. He then stayed for two days before being told to leave.
After he refused repeated requests to leave, several men showed up to remove him and Dheensaw was assaulted by one of them, leaving him with a bloody face, before getting in his car and leaving. He eventually ended up at a Langford trailer park, where he obtained a rifle – despite being prohibited from possessing certain firearms because of court conditions – before he and another man drove back to the Arncote Avenue home and – for a few minutes – staked it out.
Dalman, a friend of the home’s owners, arrived on the night of March 6 to say goodbye before they moved. Shortly after 9:30 p.m., Dheensaw approached the home with the rifle while Dalman was getting something from her SUV in the driveway. Dheensaw mistook Dalman for the woman who lived in the home and attempted to shoot her before the rifle didn’t discharge. He then shot Dalman in the shoulder before attempting to fire at the male homeowner.
Dalman was rushed to Victoria General Hospital where she was pronounced dead from the shoulder wound.
A joint submission by the Crown and defence seeks 14 years of parole ineligibility for Dheensaw, plus nine years for attempted murder and a lifetime firearm ban.
In victim impact statements, distraught family and friends said they were serving their own life sentences because Dheensaw took Dalman from them. They described her as a joyful, effervescent and bright-shining light in the world, whose giving nature knew no bounds and always put others first. Her death had “monumental” impacts, according to many of the victims, who said they’ll never get over Dalman being taken in such a violent and senseless way.
“A piece of me died that day too,” said a best friend of Dalman.
Many recalled how Dalman was always smiling and laughing, while bringing laughter everywhere she went. Her father misses her offbeat singing, her caring heart as she was constantly buying and delivering food to the homeless and seeing the fun Dalman and her son always had together.
Many victims said the mother was happiest when speaking about her son.
“She was the best mother I could ever ask for,” her son told the courtroom. “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.”
The sentencing hearing continues on Tuesday.
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