50 years for brutal murders

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, and Justice Beth Hughes has decided Downey must wait 50 years before he can ask the parole board for release.

The Crown had sought 50 years before parole ineligibility, arguing the brutal and deliberate nature of the murders were aggravating factors.

But Downey's lawyer called that a death sentence, since his 49-year-old client would be in his mid-90s before having a chance at freedom.

Downey has never admitted killing the mother and daughter, but at his sentencing hearing, he apologized to their family and friends.

The trial heard Downey believed Baillie had influenced her best friend to break up with him and he blamed her for the friend refusing to work for him as an escort.

The Crown argued Baillie's daughter was a witness who needed silencing.

The trial heard Baillie was found dead in a laundry hamper in her daughter's closet with duct tape wrapped around her face, neck and wrists.

Taliyah was missing. The girl's remains were found in some bushes east of the city three days later.

Both died by asphyxiation.

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