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

Victoria council recommends prioritizing housing for people in the area for at least a year

The motion passed unanimously during committee of the whole meeting

Sooke Bluffs staircase closed due to rot

District to consider replacement for ‘high risk’ staircase in fall

VicPD uses ‘less-lethal rounds’ to remove woman barricaded in stranger’s basement in Burnside Gorge

The woman broke into a vehicle dealership, attempted to steal a vehicle earlier in the evening

Vancouver Island MLA says too much on shoulders of RCMP

Reformed Police Act could look at spreading responsibility to other responders

Greater Victoria non-profit advocates for the use of psilocybin for terminal patients

North Saanich psychotherapist pushes for alternative treatment

STANDING TALL: Forestry workers meet the challenges, remain hopeful

A look at the forest sector in B.C. – and those hoping for the best – amid mill curtailments

Parkinson SuperWalk goes virtual throughout B.C. due to COVID-19

People encouraged to walk around their neighbourhood, along community trails, through parks, forests

Missed rent payments ‘cause of COVID-19? You have until July 2021 to pay up

Each monthly instalment must be paid on the same date the rent is due.

U.S.-Canada pandemic border restrictions extended into September

‘We will continue to keep our communities safe,’ says Public Safety Minister Bill Blair

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

WE Charity registers as lobbyist, lays off staff, looking to sell real estate

WE Charity said its financial position has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

Captive fawn seized from Island home

Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Bamfield residents, visitors pressure province as anniversary of fatal crash approaches

Letter-writing campaign makes ‘heartfelt, emotional pleas’ to improve road conditions

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Most Read