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Toronto man who stabbed, decapitated mother in 2022 found guilty of 2nd-degree murder

Warning: Readers may find the content in this article disturbing

Dallas Ly has been found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of his mother, whom he stabbed during a dispute in 2022 before decapitating and dumping her remains on the side of the road in east Toronto.

A jury handed the verdict to Ly, 23, at Toronto’s Superior Court of Justice on Wednesday afternoon after a day of deliberations.

Ly was charged with second-degree murder after he repeatedly stabbed his mother, Tien Ly, during a dispute in the Leslieville apartment they shared in March 2022. In the aftermath of the killing, Ly proceeded to decapitate his mother’s corpse and dispose of it in garbage bags on Eastern Avenue.

At the beginning of his trial in Toronto, he pleaded not guilty to the charge, but admitted to the killing – his lawyers argued the act was not a murder, but a moment of panic and self-defence.

In his testimony, Ly told the jury he suffered years of abuse at the hands of his mother. She would beat him with shoes, her fists and a wooden backscratcher that left scars, he told the jury. A photo of Ly’s back with red bumps and scarring that was said to have been caused by his mother was shown to the jury.

Called by the defence, Dr. Mitesh Patel, a psychiatrist at Youthdale Treatment Centre, said that he found evidence of a “significant and long-standing” history of severe child abuse and neglect. He also found that Ly was suffering from PTSD and major depressive disorder when he killed his mother and that the diagnoses could have played a role in his actions.

The prosecution, on the other hand, told the jury there had been no sufficient proof that Ly’s PTSD had been present before the homicide. They suggested the young man had developed the condition in the aftermath of the killing instead.

The homicide was not influenced by a mental health condition developed over years of abuse, the prosecutor argued, but carried out in anger at his mother. Ly’s accounts, given to the psychiatrist and later to the jury while on the stand, have shifted over time, it suggested, with Ly describing his mother more and more aggressively over time.

A conviction of second-degree murder will see Ly handed an automatic life sentence. A timeline for parole eligibility will be decided at a later date.

Exhibit from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

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