Lawyer for suspect in Calgary double murder eager to have case move forward

Second-degree murder charges laid in deaths of Jasmine Lovett and Aliyah Sanderson
May 7, 2019: Calgary police have charged Robert Leeming with two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Jasmine Lovett and her daughter Aliyah Sanderson. Doug Vaessen reports.

The lawyer for a man accused of killing a Calgary woman and her toddler says he’s eager to get the case moving through the courts.

Robert Leeming is charged with second-degree murder in the deaths of Jasmine Lovett, who was 25, and her 22-month-old daughter, Aliyah Sanderson.

READ MORE: Timeline: Double homicide of missing mother Jasmine Lovett, daughter Aliyah Sanderson

The pair’s remains were found in the Rocky Mountain wilderness west of Calgary earlier this month, two weeks after they were reported missing.

Leeming, a 34-year-old British citizen who police say had been in a relationship with Lovett, made a brief court appearance by video.

READ MORE: Robert Leeming, charged in Calgary double homicide, would face deportation if convicted

His lawyer, Balfour Der, says he would like to get a date set for a preliminary hearing for early next year.

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The case has been put over until June 11 while the Crown sorts out a potential scheduling conflict.

“Unfortunately the wheels of justice turn slowly sometimes,” Der said outside court on Tuesday.

Der said the defence is still waiting for disclosure — police statements, witness statements and forensic reports — from the prosecution.

He said Leeming has been moved from Calgary to a remand centre in Medicine Hat, about 300 kilometres to the southeast.

Such a move is not unusual, Der said. Sometimes it happens when a suspect is accused of a particularly serious crime or when space availability is an issue. Der said he didn’t know which it was in his client’s case.

“Mr. Leeming is, under the circumstances, doing all right. It’s very difficult for him,” he said. “It’s very difficult for his family. And he’s a long way from home, being a resident of the U.K.”