Jury in Downey trial hears gruesome details unearthed during autopsies
Sara Baillie and her daughter Taliyah Marsman are shown in an undated photo. (Supplied)
CTV Calgary Staff
Published Monday, December 3, 2018 9:56PM MST
**Warning: Story includes details many viewers may find disturbing**
The trial of Edward Downey, accused of murdering a Calgary mother and her young daughter, continued Monday with graphic evidence presented by a medical examiner.
Dr. Bamidele Adeagbo, an expert in forensic pathology, presented the findings from the July 2016 autopsies of 34-year-old Sara Baillie and Baillie’s daughter, five-year-old Taliyah Marsman, during Monday’s court proceedings.
According to Adeagbo, Baillie died as a resulted of neck compression and suffocation and an x-ray confirmed the hyoid bone in the front of her neck had been fractured in a way that was indicative of forceful injury. Petechiae, burst blood vessels, were observed around the 34-year-old’s face and body.
Duct tape had been wrapped around Baillie’s face and neck approximately five times. Crown Prosecutor Carla MacPhail asked the medical examiner if a person would be able to breathe through duct tape and Adeagbo said no. “That is a way to smother someone.
Adeagbo says Baillie had suffered a muscular hemorrhage in the area near her upper belly. When questioned whether a forceful blow to the stomach area could have caused that type of injury, Adeagbo concurred with the suggestion.
Baillie had been found stuffed in a laundry hamper in a bedroom closet of her basement suite home in Panorama Hills in July 11, 2016.
The autopsy into Taliyah Marsman’s determined she had died from asphyxiation that was possibly the result of smothering and strangling. The young girl had clusters of abrasions on her neck and face her body was found in a rural area outside Calgary.
Adeagbo's testimony is expected to continue Tuesday.
Edward Downey, 48, faces first degree murder charges in connection with the deaths of Baillie and Marsman.
According to the Government of Alberta, counselling is made available to all jurors free to assist with the potential impact of trial evidence and deliberations.
“Our concern if for juror’s emotional health, and offering help if they need it,” said the office of the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General in a statement. “The Juror Assistance and Support Program was created to help ensure that jurors who have been affected by trial evidence and what happens in the jury room can access counselling if they need to. The four in-person counselling sessions that are offered free of charge can be used either during the trial or after it concludes.”
With files from CTV's Ina Sidhu