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Trial begins for man accused of murdering, dismembering girlfriend

Last Updated Oct 16, 2017 at 5:43 pm EDT

The first-degree murder trial began on Monday for a man accused of murdering and dismembering his girlfriend.

The Crown alleges Adonay Zekarias murdered 28-year-old Rigat Ghirmay in her apartment in May 2013 and dismembered her body, scattering parts of it in secluded areas across the GTA.

The crown alleges Zekarias murdered 28-year-old Rigat Ghirmay in May 2013.

The alleged motive put forth by the Crown was that Zekarias feared Ghirmay would identify him as the suspect in another murder investigation – the stabbing death of Nighisti Semret in October 2012. Zekarias was later convicted for that murder and is currently serving a life sentence.

Ghirmay’s torso was discovered weeks after her death by a man walking along the Humber River trail. He found a hockey-sized bag which gave off a “death odour” when he opened it. He called police who discovered human remains.

Three years later a bone collector discovered more remains near Black Creek. He found a bag containing Ghirmay’s skull and informed police.

The collector, Michael Paquett, appeared in court on Monday and admitted he had found more remains two weeks prior to the discovery of the skull. He mistook them for animal bones and kept a jaw bone in his home.

A forensic pathologist is expected to take the stand when the trial continues on Tuesday.

Related stories:

Stabbing of hotel worker was ‘planned and deliberate murder,’ prosecutor says
Adonay Zekarias guilty of 1st-degree murder in Cabbagetown stabbing
Adonay Zekarias sentenced to life in prison in Cabbagetown murder