They are disturbing new details of a gruesome crime that didn’t need to happen. The revelations came on the very first day of the Alicia Ross murder trial in Newmarket. Daniel Sylvester admits he was the one who took the life of the beautiful young Markham woman in August 2005 and the Crown finally revealed what happened the night she disappeared.
Prosecutors say Sylvester got into some kind of argument with the beautiful girl he’s lived next door to for seven years and things spiraled out of control from there. The 33-year-old wound up slapping Ross, pinning her down with his knees and then banging her head on the ground. By the time he was done, the 25-year-old was dead. Lawyers have yet to unveil the full motive for the slaying, but what the self-confessed killer did next speaks to his composure and presence of mind, something his prosecutors will likely use against him.
He lined his trunk with cardboard, put Ross inside, then sped away for Coboconk, where he left her body and drove off. He even returned three weeks later, moving her remains to a more secluded place. He would eventually surrender to police in late September, leading them to the scene and stunning his neighbours who had never connected him with the missing young woman. At one point, the testimony became even more gruesome, as lawyers recounted the moment Ross’ skull went flying out of Sylvester’s car window.
Alicia’s mother, determined to hear the absolute worst, remained in the courtroom during the entire opening statement, hanging her head in sorrow. She was the last one to see her daughter in her own apartment, before she so mysteriously disappeared. Sharon Fortis has given her own account of the terrible crime in an online site dedicated to her daughter.
This murder trial doesn’t centre so much on guilt or innocence as intent. Sylvester has previously admitted killing Ross but tried to plead guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter last week. The judge rejected that plea and a jury will decide if second degree murder – which carries a more substantial penalty – should apply to his actions.