Edward Downey. (Handout via The Canadian Press)

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

A man convicted of killing a Calgary mother and her young daughter will have to wait 50 years before he has a chance at parole.

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year of first-degree murder in the 2016 deaths of Sara Baillie, who was 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman.

The convictions carry an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years, but Justice Beth Hughes ruled Tuesday that Downey must wait 50 years before he can ask the parole board for release.

“The gravity of the offence, Mr. Downey’s moral blameworthiness, and his degree of responsibility are at the highest level,” the judge said, noting Downey planned and deliberated on the girl’s murder for hours before he killed her.

Downey showed no emotion as Hughes read her decision. An uncle and cousin of Baillie embraced in the courtroom.

The Crown had argued Downey’s record of escalating crimes since his early 20s and the brutality of the murders warranted consecutive periods of parole ineligibilities — a provision allowed when someone is convicted of multiple murders.

Downey’s lawyers, however, argued that would be tantamount to a death sentence because their 49-year-old client would have no hope of release until his mid-90s.

The trial heard Downey killed Baillie because he blamed her for the breakdown of his relationship with his girlfriend, who was Baillie’s best friend, and that Baillie had dissuaded the woman from working for Downey as an escort.

Jurors heard Taliyah was a witness who needed to be silenced.

Both died by asphyxiation.

The trial heard graphic evidence of how Baillie was found dead in a laundry basket in her daughter’s bedroom with duct tape wrapped around her face, neck and wrists. And her daughter was gone.

Three days later, the girl was found dead in some bushes in a rural area east of the city.

Downey repeatedly denied the killings in his testimony and suggested someone named Terrance was to blame.

He apologized at his sentencing hearing in March to Baillie and Taliyah’s friends and family, but did not admit to killing them.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Island business ad unintentionally features OK gesture linked to white supremacy

Innocuous ‘OK’ gesture in cleaning franchise advertisement gets flak on social media for ‘supposedly’ promoting white supremacy

RCMP disarm man experiencing mental health crisis

The male pulled a knife on officers and then held it to his own throat expressing a desire to die

Mowi’s B.C. salmon farms achieve environmental certification from independent watchdog

Aquaculture Steward Council certification complies with 500 sustainability and social measures

Zeballos and Tahsis included in $3.46 million provincial emergency preparedness funding

The provincial funding will help 24 local governments and First Nations to assess flood hazards and develop effective strategies

Small group of volunteers clean up Campbell River beach

Other events held in Nanaimo, Comox, Powell River and Victoria

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Campaign aims to raise $50K for young family of deceased Vancouver Island skydiver

James Smith, 34, died July 5 following incident in Nanoose Bay

Mirror business directory and map

If you’d like to be added to the list, shoot us an email

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

B.C. ports part of data integration project to protect marine ecosystems

The $1.2 M federally funded program will draw crucial baseline data from Canada’s three coastlines

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Most Read