'She died in my hands,' says accused in Ross death
Published Thursday, May 10, 2007 7:23PM EDT
In a dramatic videotape shown to jurors Thursday, Daniel Sylvester was heard saying he was responsible for the death of his next-door neighbour Alicia Ross in 2005.
"I'm responsible for her disappearance ... I'm responsible for her death," the Toronto Star quoted from the Sept. 20, 2005 videotaped police interview.
"Basically, I killed her. She died in my hands," Sylvester told York Police Det. Richard McViety.
Sylvester said it happened during a struggle between their houses on Bronte Road in Markham, Ont. between 1:30 and 2 a.m. on Aug. 15, 2005.
Asked on tape why it happened, he explained that the two exchanged words in the pathway between their homes. Sylvester claimed in the videotape that Ross called him "a loser" and that was when he advanced on her.
Sylvester apparently slapped Ross in the face, pushed her down and kneed her in the chest. In the videotape he recounts smashing Ross' head into the ground.
"I was frantically running around. I couldn't believe no one saw me," Sylvester said during the police interview.
"I knew it was too late to call an ambulance. I was afraid to call the police. I was afraid to call my mom."
Sylvester then told police he dragged Ross into the garage and placed her body into his mother's car. He apparently dumped the woman's body in a grassy area north of the city.
During the interview Sylvester also told police he confessed to a Catholic priest at St. Luke's Church, not far from his home.
While the videotape was played in court, Ross' mother kept her head bowed, weeping.
Jurors had expected to hear the interview. Crown prosecutor Kelly Wright earlier told jurors that Sylvester, 33, confessed on the tape and explained why he did.
The trial is underway in Newmarket, Ont.
Reading from transcripts of an interview Sylvester gave to police two days after Ross went missing on Aug. 17, 2005, CTV's John Musselman said Sylvester made it clear he did not know Ross and never spoke to her.
Sylvester also told homicide detectives he was a night hawk and typically stayed awake until 4 or 5 a.m., and that he went for a drive at about 5 a.m. on the night Ross disappeared.
"He also, without any prompting from detectives, rehashed his medical history, saying that he suffered from depression and took Prozac and Paxil between 1994 and 1997," Musselman said.
"But he stopped taking the drugs because he didn't like the side effects, admitting to detectives that he's a very jittery person but wasn't very good in social situations."
Jurors are expected to hear the entire interview, as well as at least one other interview conducted by police one month later, during Thursday's trial proceedings.
The Crown says Sylvester confessed to killing Ross and dumping her body in wooded areas near Coboconk and Manilla.
While Sylvester has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, the 33-year-old tried last week to plead guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter, a request denied by the Crown.
With a report from CTV's John Musselman and files from the Canadian Press