A coat of arms adorns the Calgary Courts Centre in Calgary, Alta., Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. A judge-alone trial begins in Calgary today for a man accused of murdering a mother and her young daughter, whose remains were found in the mountain wilderness west of the city in 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Man admits to murdering woman but not guilty in daughter’s death

Man admits to murdering woman but not guilty in daughter’s death

CALGARY — A man admitted to killing a Calgary mother at the beginning of his murder trial Tuesday but says he’s not guilty in the death of her toddler.

Robert Leeming pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Jasmine Lovett and not guilty to second-degree murder of 22-month-old Aliyah Sanderson.

In April 2019, two weeks before her 26th birthday, Lovett and her daughter were reported missing after they failed to show up for a dinner.

They were last seen alive on a grocery store video on April 15.

Their bodies were found three weeks later near Grizzly Creek, a day use area in Kananaskis Country west of Calgary.

Leeming, 36, is a British citizen who had been in a relationship with Lovett.

Crown Prosecutor Doug Taylor read out an agreed statement of facts that said that Lovett and Leeming met on a dating app in September 2018. She and her daughter moved in with Leeming a month later. They were living as “boyfriend and girlfriend,” even though Lovett paid him expenses and rent.

Taylor said Leeming, Lovett and Aliyah attended a family gathering two days before it’s believed they were killed.

On May 5, two undercover Calgary police officers met with Leeming, said Taylor.

“After 4 1/2 hours, the accused led the undercover police officers to the bodies of both Jasmine Lovett and Aliyah Sanderson,” Taylor said.

“Their bodies were found buried in shallow graves, under brush, branches and mulch in a wooded area in Kananaskis Country near Fortress Junction Service.”

Calgary crime