OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A man accused of killing seven people in the 2012 shooting rampage at Oikos University pleaded no contest Tuesday to seven counts of murder with special circumstances and will spend the rest of his life in prison.
One Goh, 48, was charged with seven counts of murder, three counts of premeditated attempted murder and 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.
Dressed in a light brown T-shirt and sporting glasses and long hair, Goh used a Korean interpreter when he entered his pleas.
Goh’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender David Klaus, said a key factor in making the pleas was that the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office decided not to seek the death penalty.
District attorney’s office spokeswoman Teresa Drenick said, “Given all the circumstances of this case, such as Mr. Goh’s violent actions and his mental health, we believe that life in prison without the possibility is the appropriate outcome.”
Goh will be sentenced on July 14th to seven consecutive terms of life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus 271 years to life.
“The enormity and devastation of this mass shooting remains unprecedented in Alameda County,” District Attorney O’Malley said in a prepared statement. “With the conclusion of this case, we know that One Goh will never again be in the position to harm any member of our community.”
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.
Five of the victims’ family members attended Goh’s hearing Tuesday, but they declined to talk to reporters.
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.
Klaus said Goh has always been remorseful about carrying out the shooting and at one point he wanted to die because he thought he deserved the death penalty.
“He wants to tell the victims’ family members that he’s deeply sorry,” Klaus said.
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Sentencing was ordered for July 14th.