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Mother whose decapitated body was found in garbage bag was abusive to son, court hears

Click to play video: 'Three friends of Dallas Ly testified at his 2nd-degree murder trial'
Three friends of Dallas Ly testified at his 2nd-degree murder trial
Three friends of Dallas Ly testified at his 2nd-degree murder trial – May 3, 2024

Warning: This story contains disturbing graphic content. Discretion is strongly advised.

Friends of a man on trial for the second-degree murder of his mother said they received worrying messages from him the day her decapitated body was discovered in garbage bags in Toronto’s east end.

One told the court she believed the son had been physically abused by his mother.

Dallas Ly is on trial in Toronto for allegedly murdering his mother, Thanh “Tien” Ly. The Crown previously told the jury it is an admitted fact that Dallas stabbed his mother and caused her death.

He has pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree murder.

On Friday, Dallas’ friends took to the stand to talk about their recollection of March 28, 2022, the day Thanh’s body was found in a garbage bag on Eastern Avenue in Toronto’s Leslieville neighbourhood.

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The jury was shown messages from the app Discord sent by Dallas. One high school friend, Silke Lozier, said she believed his mother had been both physically and mentally abusive to him.

Dallas Ly, 20. Toronto Police

Lozier said Dallas had once shown her a bruise on his arms when they were at school together in the east end, and had said his mother had slapped him. Lozier told the court she didn’t think Thanh had been particularly kind to her son.

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Earlier in the week, Thanh’s sister — speaking through a Vietnamese interpreter — said she had been told by Thanh in the week she died that she was planning to throw Dallas out of her house.

The court heard from Lozier Friday that, on March 28, she received a message on Discord from Dallas early in the morning.

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“Sorry ma, I couldn’t be a better person for this long, I hope you succeed in your life, so long,” it read.

Another message said: “I felt bad for the boy who had this oppression, I really listened to myself once and this was the end result. I’m battered and beaten, bleeding a bit right now too but I feel free, I can breathe, and I wanna say thank you so much for showing, pointing out, caring for the guy in there.”

When Lozier received the Discord messages, she said she and two other friends of Dallas feared the worst, thinking he had chosen to end his life. They went to his apartment, she said, to look for him but found nobody was home.

Click to play video: 'Police investigating after body found in bag in Leslieville'
Police investigating after body found in bag in Leslieville

“Oh hey btw where are you?” Lozier wrote in a message to Dallas on Discord two days later, on the morning of March 30, 2022.

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He replied: “It’s hard to say. Do you know what I did,” adding in a separate message “You probably won’t forgive me which is why I’m scared to say.”

During opening statements, the defence said Dallas was expected to testify that his mother was physically, psychologically and emotionally abusive for practically his entire life.

Click to play video: 'Murder trial begins for Leslieville man accused of stabbing, decapitating own mother 2022'
Murder trial begins for Leslieville man accused of stabbing, decapitating own mother 2022

On Thursday, the jury also saw security footage of Thanh returning home to her apartment on March 27, the day she is believed to have been killed. In the footage, she appears to have a suitcase and is carrying a coffee, waiting for an elevator in the building.

Then, in a video recorded around four hours later, Dallas can be seen getting into the elevator wearing black, with a backpack and a shopping cart. The footage shown in court shows Dallas leaving the elevator and then taking the cart south on Carlaw Avenue.

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He was later seen returning home without the cart and leaving the building again the next morning.

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