Trial to begin for man accused of killing Calgary woman and her daughter

Trial to begin for man accused of killing Calgary woman and her daughter
Edward Downey on trial for double homicide of Calgary mother and daughter
A jury trial is underway for a Calgary man accused of killing a mother and her five-year-old daughter.

On Monday morning, Edward Downey, 48, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the 2016 deaths of Sara Baillie and her daughter, Taliyah Marsman.

The courtrooms public gallery was so packed with loved ones and media that an overflow courtroom with a video feed needed to be set up.

Graphic and disturbing details of the case were outlined in an opening statement by Crown prosecutor Carla MacPhail.

Taliyah had also FaceTimed her great aunt and uncle, Marilynne and Scott Hamilton, to share the same news. She spent a lot of time with the Hamiltons.

Sara’s aunt, Marilynne Hamilton, said she started calling around, but Sara and Taliyah were nowhere to be found.

“We heard him gasp and told us not to come in…told us to stay where we were,” Marilynne said.

“I was pleading for him to tell me if it was Sara and Taliyah. He just kept saying, ‘I don’t know.”

After the discovery of Sara’s body, an Alberta-wide Amber Alert was activated for her missing daughter.

MacPhail told jurors Downey was known to both Sara and Taliyah. He was Sara’s best friend’s boyfriend.

That woman’s identity is protected by a court-imposed publication ban, and can only be referred to by the initials “AB.”

The Crown told the jury the day before Sara was killed, AB sent a text to Downey that said, “it’s time to pack your bags I’m ending this relationship.”

MacPhail said things were falling apart, and it’s up to the jury to decide if Downey blamed Sara for that.

The jury was told text messages will be presented as evidence during the trial–texts between Downey and one of his associates, expressing his view of Sara’s influence on his girlfriend.

The Crown alleges Downey had also taken steps towards getting his girlfriend to work as an escort but she had decided “it was something she was not going to do.”

“It’s for you to decide if Downey blamed Sara for this as well,” MacPhail told the jury.

It was a map from that data that led police to find Taliyah’s body three days later just outside of the city limits. Her tiny body was discarded in some bushes.

The Crown said it’s their theory Taliyah’s killer took her and murdered her because she was a witness to her mother’s death.

Family of Sara and Taliyah filled the courtroom Monday, many were crying as they heard details of the case.

It said they will be attending the trial and asked for privacy as the court case unfolds. The family said a statement will be made once the jury reaches verdicts in the case.

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The jury trial for a Calgary man charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Sara Baillie and her daughter Taliyah Marsman in 2016 started on Monday morning.

Baillies body was found in her Panorama Hills basement suite in the summer of 2016 by police after she failed to turn up for work.

Her five-year-old daughter, Taliyah Marsman, was reported missing and a province-wide AMBER alert was initiated to find the little girl.

Police spent several days searching for Taliyah and located her body three days later in a rural area east of Calgary.

Edward Delton Downey, 48, was arrested at a strip mall in northeast Calgary on July 13, 2016 and he was charged with two counts of first-degree murder.

The families of both victims are attending the trial and the courtroom was packed on the first day of the proceedings.

The Crown laid out its case for the jury in the morning and said that Downey had been dumped by Baillies best friend at the time.

The prosecution said it will bring forward evidence to show that Downey asphyxiated Baillie, wrapped her in duct tape, stuffed her body in a laundry bag and stashed it in a closet in her home.

According to the Crown, Downeys finger print was found on the duct tape and it is alleged that Taliyah was killed because she was a witness to her mothers murder.

Sara Baillies aunt was called as the Crowns first witness and she was emotional as she talked about the impact that Baillie and Taliyah had on her life.

A judge and jury, consisting of five men and seven women, will hear the case, which is scheduled to last three weeks.

Edward Downey is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Sara Baillie and her five-year-old daughter Taliyah Leigh Marsman.

The jury trial for a Calgary man charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Sara Baillie and her daughter Taliyah Marsman in 2016 started on Monday morning.