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Calgary man admits to murder of woman but not guilty in death of her toddler

Last Updated Oct 12, 2021 at 1:58 pm MDT

Aliyah Sanderson, 22-months old, and her mother Jasmine Lovett, 25, are shown in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Calgary Police Service

CALGARY – A man has admitted to killing a Calgary mother more than two years ago but not guilty in the death of her toddler.

Robert Leeming pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Jasmine Lovett and not guilty to second-degree murder of 22-month-old Aliyah Sanderson.

The pleas came on the first day of his judge-alone trial.

READ MORE: Murder charges laid in deaths of Calgary mother and daughter

Lovett, 26, and her daughter were reported missing in April 2019, after they failed to show up for a dinner.

Their bodies were found weeks later near Grizzly Creek, a day use area in Kananaskis Country west of Calgary.

Leeming, who is 36, is a British citizen who police said had been in a relationship with Lovett.

RELATED: Man considered suspect in murders of Calgary woman and toddler speaks out

During the search for Lovett and her daughter, Leeming told local media that he owned the townhouse where they lived and that they were his tenants.

The trial is scheduled for 19 days.