Trial begins for Parkdale man accused of murdering 75-year-old neighbour

Sabrina Carreiro has lived in an apartment on the eighth floor of 24 Shaw St. in Parkdale all her life. On Aug. 11, 2020, Carreiro called 911 after smelling what she called “a really foul smell” coming from unit 801, where she knew an older woman who used on a walker lived.

“I thought if anything, at least do a welfare check. I knew it was coming from her unit. Because if you went right in front of her unit, it was enough to make you sick,” Carreiro told the jury at the opening of the second-degree murder trial for 42-year-old Damien Allred.

Carreiro testified prior to that day, she had on occasion detected a smell of urine coming from the apartment or “on her,” meaning the resident of the unit, but this was something different.

When first responders arrived, Carreiro, accompanied by the superintendent of the building, opened the door to unit 801 where Teresa Santos lived.

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“I remember seeing Teresa lying there on the floor of her apartment. I remember seeing red,” Carreiro explained, saying she then went back to her friend’s apartment down the hall.

Read more: Parkdale man charged with 2nd-degree murder in connection with 75-year-old neighbour’s death

Lucinda Oliviera testified she spoke to her sister daily but last spoke to Santos around 5 p.m. on Aug. 8, 2020. For the next three days, she tried to contact her, but Santos didn’t answer the phone.

Oliviera also tried to get in touch with Santos’ friends but was unsuccessful. Oliviera, who would frequently order groceries for her sister or call a wheel transportation vehicle for Santos to come visit her, said Santos also enjoyed spending time at St. Christopher’s House where she did crafts.

Oliviera broke down in tears at one point, recalling learning her sister had been killed, prompting the judge to send the jury on a break.

In her opening address, assistant Crown attorney Ana Serban told the jury that Santos, 75, was killed in her own apartment.

Officers finding blood staining the floor, blood on the walls, and blood on the ceiling. Santos’ lifeless body had broken ribs, a fractured spin, a dislocated jaw and injuries to her face.

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There was also a blood-stained pillow covering her face and a bloody shoe print on that pillow with the “Puma” tread.

Serban said that forensic investigators found a trail of bloody shoe prints between Santos’ apartment and the apartment where Damian Allred lived, just down the hall.

At the time of his arrest, there were Puma shoes on his feet and scrapes on his arms. The DNA from a man was also found under Santos’ fingernails. Serban told the jury a DNA scientist will testify.

“We anticipate she will tell you the chance that the DNA under Santos’ fingernails are being that of Damien Allred is extremely high,” Serban explained to the jury.

Read more: 75-year-old woman was victim of homicide, Toronto police say

Serban said it wasn’t until an autopsy and Santos’ body was processed through a CT scan that a knife was found in her mouth, embedded in the brain. Serban said the jury is expected hear that Santos’ cause of death was a piercing stab wound to the brain.

The prosecutor also told the jury that security camera footage retrieved from a camera in the apartment building where Santos lived will show her last seen alive exiting the elevator on the 8th floor at 5:15 pm.

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She was using a walker to guide her. Allred stepped off the elevator on the same floor 10 minutes earlier. He was next captured on surveillance video at 5:33 pm, entering the elevator, shirtless, barefoot and wearing a different pair of pants.

A paramedic who was first on scene testified that when she arrived at Santos’ unit after the superintendent opened her door, there was a closet door near the entrance to the unit that had become unhinged, and Santos’ body was already showing signs of decomposition, lying on her back in a pool of blood, with a pillow on her face.

Allred, who the jury has heard lived with his pregnant wife and three children, has pleaded not guilty.

The trial continues.

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