OAKLAND, CA (ABC News 7) – One Goh was sentenced today to seven consecutive terms of life in prison without the possibility of parole plus 271 years to life in state prison for killing seven people in a shooting rampage at Oikos University in Oakland five years ago.
Goh, 48, a Korean national, said in a statement read in court by his attorney, Assistant Public Defender David Klaus, that he hopes that the fact that he will spend the rest of his life in a maximum security prison “will bring some degree of closure” to the victims’ families.
Goh said, “I understand the terrible and devastating impact this has had on the victims’ families and the community.”
Goh, who was dressed in a light brown T-shirt and sported glasses and long hair that was turning gray, said in the statement, “I’m very sorry and will carry this shame forever.”
Goh pleaded no contest on May 2 to seven counts of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder as well as the special circumstance allegations of committing a murder during a kidnapping and committing multiple murders for the shooting at Oikos, a Christian vocational school located near Oakland International Airport, on April 2, 2012.
Goh’s plea agreement came only two weeks after doctors determined that after receiving years of treatment at Napa State Hospital he had been restored to competency and could face a trial.
Killed in the shooting were students Lydia Sim, 21, Sonam Choedon, 33, Grace Kim, 23, Doris Chibuko, 40, Judith Seymour, 53, and Tshering Bhutia, 38, as well as Katleen Ping, 24, who worked at the school.
Prosecutors said Goh had dropped out of Oikos several months before the shooting and wanted his tuition refunded and targeted an administrator who wasn’t present on the day of the shooting.
Criminal proceedings against Goh were suspended after his lawyers questioned his mental competency to stand trial. On Jan. 7, 2013, a judge ruled that he was incompetent, citing reports by two psychiatrists who examined him, and he was moved to Napa State Hospital a few months later.
Goh underwent a competency hearing in 2015 after a forensic psychologist at the Napa facility found him competent to stand trial, but a judge who also heard testimony from other psychologists ruled that he was still mentally incompetent at that time.
Timothy Brown, Seymour’s fiance, said that Seymour “had kindness and compassion” and was studying to become a nurse so she could help the sick and injured.
Brown said Seymour “was my soulmate and our future looked bright but it was destroyed by a brutal murderer.”
Camella Seymour, Seymour’s daughter, said, “These past years have been really hard” and described her mother as “a beautiful, caring and loving person.”
Seymour said, “So many people have forgotten about this tragedy that I think there should be some kind of memorial for the victims so that everyone remembers.”
Ping’s brother, Kaine Ping, said, “The time has finally come for me and my family to close this chapter of pain and grief but our suffering will never end.”
Ping said his sister “was beautiful and had a lot of aspirations in life, such as becoming a nurse,” and is survived by a son who’s now 9 years old.
Prosecutor Stacie Pettigrew said Goh “inflicted such irreparable harm on so many innocent people and the criminal justice system can’t bring the victims back or erase the pain their loved ones feel.”
Pettigrew said she hopes that the fact that Goh will never be released from prison “can bring some peace and comfort to the victims’ families to know that he will never be free to inflict harm on anyone else.”