Primary suspect in Calgary double-homicide investigation has prior animal cruelty convictions
Court documents show the man at the centre of a suspected double homicide investigation in Calgary has prior convictions for animal cruelty and owned an arsenal of weapons including two handguns, one shotgun and approximately 60 knives.
WATCH: Calgary police believe suspect may have attempted to burn evidence
Global News has confirmed Robert Leeming pleaded guilty to three charges under the animal cruelty act in August 2018.
The charges relate to incidents in Priddis, Alta., one of the areas west of Calgary that police have been searching.
The documents show Leeming pleaded guilty to causing a dog to be in distress, failing to ensure the dog had adequate food and water, and failing to provide the dog with adequate shelter.
The incidents happened in May 2018.
Leeming was ordered to pay $5,000 in fines and has until this August to pay. If he doesn’t pay the fine by the specified date, a warrant will be issued and he will have to serve time in jail.
Leeming is not allowed to be in the care or custody of an animal for 10 years.
When asked about the animal cruelty charges, Leeming declined to comment to Global News.
Divorce documents reveal disturbing allegations
According to an affidavit filed by Leeming’s estranged spouse during divorce proceedings in 2018, he took the family dog, Axel, to an area near Priddis and left him there.
“He left our dog in the woods, chained to a tree to die,” the affidavit reads.
The document goes on to say, “he was cruel and intimated things that caused me to fear for our lives at the end of our relationship.”
WATCH: ‘Our goal… is to hold the person accountable for these homicides’: Calgary police
Leeming’s estranged wife also alleged that at one point, she checked his browser history and found articles about a mother and son who died in a house fire, as well as an article about a man who tied a dog to a tree and left him there to die.
“It didn’t leave my mind that he actually did one of those things,” she wrote.
In detailing matrimonial property, Leeming admitted he owned a number of licensed firearms.
“I have collected knives since I was seven years old, I would estimate that I have around 60 knives, most of which have never been used,” he stated.
Leeming said in the affidavit the knives range in size from half-an-inch long to eight inches long.
He stated in the document that his estranged wife was “unstable” and “acting maliciously” and “has physically assaulted me on a number of occasions.”
“Police have never been called to deal with any form of domestic disturbance,” he added.
WATCH: It’s the sixth day of the suspected double homicide investigation in Calgary, and we’re learning more disturbing details about the prime suspect. Michael King reports.
Leeming remains primary suspect in disappearances
Leeming told Global News he was Lovett’s landlord and that he was in an intimate relationship with her. He told media on Friday that he was arrested and questioned by police before being released a day later.
Calgary police said Friday a man arrested and questioned in the case, but who was eventually released from custody, remained the “primary suspect” in the suspected double homicide investigation Lovett and Sanderson. No charges have been laid in the case.
Police said Monday they believe the suspect may have attempted to destroy evidence related to the homicides by means of burning, sometime between Tuesday, April 16, and Saturday, April 20, in the area of Bragg Creek, Elbow Falls, Priddis and/or East Kananaskis.
Anyone who may have seen signs of a suspicious fire in an unusual area, not in a designated fire pit, is asked to contact police.
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