Don't feed me crap about "liberal" judges. Some of the most indulgent, criminal-friendly judges come from the red states--and you don't get much redder than Utah.
Dad JACK VANGRIMBERGEN fired 10 shots at his wife, with 4 or 5 hitting her. At least two of these hit her in the face. Miraculously, this woman has survived, but with horrific injuries that have required multiple surgeries. And Daddy Dearest did all this in front of their terrified 11-year-old daughter, who ran to a neighbor's house for help.
But despite all this, Daddy's charges were reduced from 1st-degree attempted murder to 2nd-degree attempted murder, which means he will not do a life sentence. He could be out in 3 YEARS.
Note that Daddy got all kinds of support for his actions too--most of the letters received by the judge wanted leniency. As usual, the ones who saw through this travesty are too frightened and intimidated to speak out publicly.
Mom is saying all the fathers-rights sanctioned, politically correct lines. How she doesn't want to take the father away from her four kids, despite what he did to her. It's like some goddamn show trial, where she's the defendant parroting a statement prewritten by the chief interrogator. She is not allowed to be angry; she must be the ultimate Saintly and Forgiving Mother. The Virgin Mary of Salt Lake. But given that this piece of sh** husband of hers could be out on the streets in just a few years, what else is she going to say? Disgusting.
Tooele man sentenced for shooting wife in the face
Courts » Daughter, 11, watched in horror before running to neighbors for help.
By Sheena McFarland
The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated: 06/08/2010 06:12:36 PM MDT
The physical scars are obvious.
The feeding tube taped to her cheek and winding up her nostril, the missing teeth on her upper left jaw. The fresh stitches along her throat.
But Heather Vangrimbergen's emotional scars run much deeper.
The 39-year-old mother of four went through a living hell in September, when her husband, Jack Vangrimbergen, 45, shot a .40-caliber Beretta at her until he ran out of bullets. Two or three bullets ripped her face from her bones, another hit her arm and one more, her leg.
All the while, their 11-year-old daughter watched in horror before running to the neighbor's house to call for help.
Heather Vangrimbergen still pictures her husband aiming a gun at her when she walks out of the back door of her Tooele home.
And while Jack Vangrimbergen was sentenced to three to 25 years in prison for his crime, her life is changed forever.
"I'm glad this part is over," Heather Vangrimbergen said after Tuesday's sentencing hearing in front of 3rd District Judge Stephen Henriod. "Just as long as he knows that he'll get out of prison one day, but I'll always live with this."
Henriod reduced Jack Vangrimbergen's charge from a first-degree attempted murder charge to a second-degree one, meaning he no longer could spend up to life in prison. The reduction came with no opposition from the victim, saying she didn't want to take her four children's father away from them forever despite what he did to her. Henriod did run the attempted homicide sentence consecutively with the one to five years given for committing the crime in front of a child. It is now up to the Board of Pardons and Parole to determine how much time he will spend behind bars.
Jack Vangrimbergen read a handwritten statement to the judge, saying he had no words for what he had done, and that "sorry" was not enough. He said he has learned in classes and therapy while incarcerated that the pills he took and the alcohol he drank before shooting his wife were not the answer to solving problems, and neither was violence.
"I'm sorry for what you've had to go through and the pain you've been through," he said through tears as he faced his wife directly. "I want you to be happy and to move on. I love you dearly."
Jack Vangrimbergen also told the judge this was the first time he had committed any kind of crime, and it was something out of character for him.
But Tooele County Attorney Douglas Hogan told the judge that the man's actions were "horrific and come with consequences."
"For 45 years, you don't get to build up good-citizen points you can cash in when you get in a jam," Hogan said.
On that September evening, Jack Vangrimbergen sat out in his truck with two handguns, a 9 mm Beretta and a .40-caliber Beretta. He "took a couple of pills and found some liquid courage in a bottle of rum," Henriod said, took the deadlier of the two guns and went into the family's home. He fired 10 bullets at his wife, whom he suspected was having an extramarital affair. She fell to the ground after she was struck twice. After she had fallen, he came up to her and shot her at point-blank range in the face, Henriod said.
"I don't believe that you don't remember what happened that night," Henriod said. "You were very angry, and you wanted her to die."
Their 11-year-old daughter was in the room and ran next door to call for help. She returned a few moments later with their neighbor's phone, which she handed to her father.
"He said he guessed he had shot his wife and he wasn't sure if she needed their help," Heather Vangrimbergen wrote in a letter to the judge. She dragged herself out of the house into the front yard, where an ambulance picked her up and rushed her to the hospital. She has had 17 surgeries since, and still awaits a slew of other operations.
She still runs what-ifs about that night, wondering whether she could have protected her daughter from seeing her in such a bloody condition, what would have happened had one of those bullets struck her daughter, too.
In her letter, Heather Vangrimbergen said she hopes Jack Vangrimbergen does not expect their children to put their lives on hold while he is locked up.
Henriod said he saw no malice or vindictiveness in Heather Vangrimbergen, despite the horrors she had undergone, and that she only wanted the consequences the law carried.
Henriod said he had received 100 letters about this case, and 99 of them were in support of Jack Vangrimbergen.
"Several blame the victim, and it's those I find the most appalling," Henriod said. "Based on these letters, there is too much support for Mr. Vangrimbergen and not nearly enough for Ms. Vangrimbergen. No one can forget that Mr. Vangrimbergen is the actor in this. There have been excuses, comments about an extramarital affair. She had one and so did he, but she didn't try to kill him."
Henriod said he hopes the community and extended family can come together to help the couple's four children.
"Mr. Vangrimbergen's life is ruined because of this. Ms. Vangrimbergen's life is ruined because of this," he said. "I hope this won't ruin the lives of these children.