'That's a lie': Crown grills Robert Leeming about deaths of Jasmine Lovett, Aliyah Sanderson
A man who has admitted to murdering his girlfriend but denies killing her daughter has told his trial he took several steps to cover up their deaths.
Robert Leeming has pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of Jasmine Lovett in 2019, but not guilty in the death of 22-month-old Aliyah Sanderson.
They were reported missing in April 2019 and found buried in a shallow grave west of Calgary after Leeming led undercover police officers to their location.
Under cross-examination Thursday, Leeming admitted to dismantling the girl's crib, putting it in the basement and disposing of her stroller to make it appear her mother had moved out of his home.
Leeming also said he sent texts to Lovett's phone – after she and her toddler were already dead – to say he had taken Aliyah to daycare and another one later suggesting they get pizza for dinner. Two unsent texts a week later said he knew Lovett was moving out and that she needed to check in because police were looking for her.
"I know you were talking about moving, haven't seen you in a couple days. Just wondering when you were going to pick up the rest of your things,'' read one unsent text from April 21, 2109.
Three days later: "Hey you OK. The CPS is looking for you here. Please call me. It's urgent or call 911.''
"It was misdirection,'' Leeming told Crown prosecutor Doug Taylor.
"That's what you call it? I call it lying,'' said Taylor.
Taylor asked Leeming about the day he bludgeoned Lovett with a hammer and then shot her in the head with a rifle.
"What did it sound like when you discharged a rifle and you killed Jasmine?'' Taylor asked.
Leeming replied that .22-calibre firearms are actually pretty quiet.
Jasmine Lovett, 25 and 22-month-old Aliyah Sanderson. (Calgary Police Service handout)
"There's no bigger moment in your life, I'm going to suggest to you, than when you shot Jasmine Lovett in the head. Correct?'' Taylor asked.
"Correct,'' replied Leeming.
"I'm going to suggest to you that it was loud. Was it?''
"Not that loud,'' said Leeming.
Taylor cited dozens of untruthful comments Leeming made to police and to media.
At one point Thursday, Leeming again denied killing Aliyah and defended a comment in a TV interview during which he said he wasn't a violent man.
"Really? When you hit Jasmine over the head with a hammer and then shot her in your kitchen, when she was on the floor, that's not violent?'' asked Taylor.
"Yes what?'' pressed Taylor.
"That was violent.''
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 28, 2021.