Calgary

Man accused of killing former girlfriend and her toddler to go on trial for murder

A Calgary man accused of killing his former girlfriend and her toddler has been committed to stand trial on murder charges.

Robert Leeming alleged to have killed Jasmine Lovett, Aliyah Sanderson in April 2019

Robert Leeming, left, has been committed to stand trial on two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Calgary mother Jasmine Lovett, right, and her young daughter, Aliyah Sanderson. (Left, Julie Debeljak/CBC; right, Lovett family)

A Calgary man accused of killing his former girlfriend and her toddler has been committed to stand trial on murder charges.

Following a preliminary inquiry, provincial court Judge Terry Semenuk ruled there is enough evidence for Robert Leeming, 35, to be tried on two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Jasmine Lovett, 25, and her daughter, 22-month-old Aliyah Sanderson.

All of the evidence presented at the hearing is protected by a publication ban.

Lovett and her daughter were Leeming's tenants in April 2019. The two victims were last seen on April 16, 2019.

Their bodies were found about three weeks later in a heavily wooded area near Grizzly Creek, off Highway 40 in Kananaskis.

Leeming was charged the next day.

On-again, off-again relationship

Before he was charged, Leeming told reporters he and Lovett had been in an on-again, off-again relationship.

Leeming said he had gone out to the Bragg Creek area for a picnic with the mother and daughter on April 17, and he last saw them the evening of April 18.

At the time charges were laid, police said Leeming and Lovett were in a "domestic relationship which deteriorated over a period of time."

In 2018, Leeming pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges. He left his dog to die, chaining it to a tree. A peace officer found the dog in distress four days later. 

Leeming collected guns, knives

According to divorce documents, Leeming's ex-wife said she worried he had been planning to kill her.

In the documents, she said she found a disturbing search history on her ex-husband's computer, including an article about chaining a dog to a tree and another one about a mother and child who died in a house fire.

In his own affidavit, Leeming said he had a firearms licence, several guns and about 60 knives, which he said he has been collecting since he was seven years old. 

Prosecutor Doug Taylor and defence lawyer Balfour Der will be back in court next month to set a trial date.

About the Author

Meghan Grant

CBC Calgary reporter

Meghan Grant is the courts and crime reporter for CBC Calgary.

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