Calgary

Edward Downey wants new trial or lesser sentence after being convicted of killing mother, daughter

One of Calgary's most notorious child killers wants a new trial, or at least a lesser sentence, according to a notice of appeal filed with Alberta's top court Monday morning.

Downey sentenced to life in prison with no parole for 50 years

Edward Downey murdered Sara Baillie and her 5-year-old daughter, Taliyah Marsman, on July 11, 2016. Now he wants a new trial. (Court exhibit )

One of Calgary's most notorious child killers wants a new trial, or at least a lesser sentence, according to a notice of appeal filed with Alberta's top court Monday morning.

Edward Downey, 49, was convicted of murdering Taliyah Marsman, 5, and her mother, Sara Baillie, on July 11, 2016.

Downey was convicted following a jury trial in 2018 and sentenced last month to life in prison with no chance of parole for 50 years.

Both Baillie and Taliyah died by asphyxiation. Baillie was found wrapped in duct tape and stuffed inside a laundry hamper. Her daughter's body was discovered days later, in a rural area east of the city. 

After he killed Baillie, Downey realized the child would be able to identify him as her mother's killer so he took Taliyah and drove around with her for hours before murdering her and dumping her body.

Sara Baillie and Taliyah Marsman were killed in July 2016. Edward Downey was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 50 years. (Facebook)

In a notice filed with the court Monday by defence lawyer Kelsey Sitar, Downey asked the Alberta Court of Appeal for a new trial.

In his grounds of appeal, Downey listed alleged errors by the trial judge in her pre-trial rulings and in the instructions jurors received ahead of their deliberations.

Downey, who is serving his sentence at the Edmonton Institution, also noted a plan to argue the judge erred in applying consecutive parole ineligibility periods.

In handing down the sentence, Court of Queen's Bench Justice Beth Hughes noted Downey showed no remorse, particularly when he was flirting with a woman through text messages while driving around with and then discarding ​​​​​​Taliyah's body.

On the morning of July 11, 2016, Baillie was about to leave her basement apartment to take Taliyah to daycare when Downey showed up​​​​​​, according to the evidence presented at the trial.

Baillie had witnessed Downey abuse her best friend, a woman who can be identified only as AB due to court restrictions.

Downey blamed Baillie for encouraging his girlfriend to break up with him. This would have meant Downey, who was broke, would soon be homeless.

A date for appeal arguments has not yet been set.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Meghan Grant

CBC Calgary crime reporter

Meghan Grant is the courts and crime reporter for CBC Calgary. If you have a good story idea or tip, you can reach her at meghan.grant@cbc.ca or on Twitter at @CBCMeg.

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