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Elaborate murder plot led to Apex teen's death

Posted September 14, 2010
Updated September 15, 2010

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— Wake County prosecutors continued building their case Tuesday against a 19-year-old Apex man whom they have called the mastermind behind a complex murder conspiracy likened to something from the movies.

Ryan Patrick Hare is on trial for first-degree murder and other charges in the Nov. 30, 2008, death of Matthew Silliman, an 18-year-old Apex High School student whose body was found two days later in an abandoned trailer in New Hill.

Prosecutors say Hare enlisted three friends – Drew Shaw, Allegra Dahlquist and Aadil Khan – to help lure Silliman to the site.

Dahlquist, Hare's girlfriend at the time, testified Tuesday that he had a plot to suffocate Silliman with a zip tie five days earlier, but when that failed, the friends convinced Silliman that they were trying to fake his death because someone named Roger was out to have him killed.

"He trusted us," Dahlquist, 19, said of Silliman.

She said Hare told her that Roger had given him an ultimatum: Kill Silliman or be killed.

Hare was willing to sacrifice his life for Silliman, she said, but she urged him not to because she was in love with him.

The friends eventually lured Silliman to the trailer, owned by Dahlquist's family, where he stayed several days.

Prosecutors contend that Roger does not exist and that Hare devised the scheme because he was jealous that Dahlquist also had feelings for Silliman.

"He didn't like how Matt would talk about me or look at me," Dahlquist said.

The two broke up briefly and argued about Silliman, whom she continued to see. Dahlquist went along with the plan, she testified, because she loved Hare and wanted him to know that he could trust her.

On the night of Silliman's death, prosecutors say, Dahlquist distracted Silliman with a tarot card reading while Hare hit him over the head with a hammer.

Shaw, 18, also testified Tuesday that he was "scared as hell" while he carried out his role in the alleged plot. His job was to wait outside the trailer with a baseball bat, in case Silliman tried to escape.

Witnesses recount events in teen's death Witnesses recount events in teen's death

Things went in a new direction, however, he said, when Silliman was seemingly unfazed by the hammer blow.

"The plan had changed, and they convinced him to kill himself. That's what they told me," Shaw said.

Shaw said he eventually went inside the trailer, where he saw Silliman in the kitchen mixing white powder with wine and taking pills.

The group was laughing and joking about the hammer and "how Matt didn't die easily," Shaw said. Hare was also saying things in an effort to depress Silliman, who had a history of depression, a suicide attempt and bipolar disorder.

"Matt was trying to laugh it off, and Ryan was trying to make it out like he was never wanted," Shaw said.

Crying at times, Shaw said he did not want to Silliman to die and didn't want to be there but also admitted he didn't try to stop the plan from being carried out.

"For one, I'm kind of (expletive) scared," he said of his thoughts at the time. "I don't know what anyone's thinking. I don't know how serious anyone is. I'm like, 'If I make any kind of move …’ I feel like they might have killed me or something."

Shaw left soon after, and Silliman was still alive, he said. It was the last time he saw any of his friends before his arrest on Dec. 3, 2008.

He cried again at the end of his testimony Tuesday, when Wake County Assistant District Attorney Jason Waller showed him a photo of Silliman at the crime scene.

Silliman's hands and feet had been bound, his mouth duct-taped and a plastic bag tied around his head, authorities have said. An autopsy determined he died of asphyxiation and that he had lethal amounts of prescription drugs and alcohol in his system when he suffocated.

But Hare's attorney, Robert Padovano, said his client assisted in a suicide – that Silliman wanted to die and wanted his death to look like a crime to spare his family both emotionally and financially.

Padovano cross-examined Shaw at length about his motives for testifying at Hare's trial without a plea deal, as well as statements he made on Nov. 29, 2008, to go to Silliman and "get this over with."

At the time though, Shaw said, he didn't think the talk of killing Silliman was serious.

"(I figured) there would be a fight and what would happen would happen, and the drama would be over with," he said.


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  • newhillhorse Sep 17, 2010

    Drew knew, regardless if he wanted to "believe" that Matt was going to be murdered and witnessed the others torturing him and this “apparent assisted suicide” he should be charged as an accessory to 1st degree murder, conspiracy, ect. Matt's girlfriend at the time should be charged appropriately for knowing his were-abouts and failing to report it to authorities. I applaud Matt’s parents for trying to help Matt…they were doing the right thing: they supervised him, had boundaries and tried to enforce them, had him involved in productive activities and groups, acknowledged his troubles, and had him seeing 3 councilors. Parent’s can’t completely control their child’s actions, however, they should be held responsible for what they can and are responsible for doing…parenting. My deepest prayers and sympathy for the Silliman family.

  • newhillhorse Sep 17, 2010

    This was PREMEDITATED in every sense of the definition, all they had to do was tell an adult at school, the school police officer, or honestly told the truth to any adult. Instead as Matt's parents worried they looked right at them and lied on multiple occasions. They lied to the police. They knew of his illness and vulnerability and used it to further hurt him...there is NO excuse! There should be no plea deals for Aadil or Allegra. Aadil won't cooperate, good...they should try and convict him for the 1st degree murder of his best friend as well as several other charges. There should be multiple counts against all them.

  • newhillhorse Sep 17, 2010

    I'm tired of watching them cry too. Did they cry when they were killing Matt? Did they cry as they admitted how they killed them when they told police officers what happened. The police officer today said that Allegra didn't show remorse at all during her initial interview. No, they cry now for THEMSELVES, selfish children went to Wendy's to eat after they watched their friend who trusted them vomit with duck tape on his mouth and die a tortured death. This happened over weeks time, this didn't happen in an instant.

  • newhillhorse Sep 17, 2010

    According to Allegra and her mother's twitter accounts they still have her horse, who is at a reputable trainer....that's more than 1,000 dollars a month...what a wish for her princess to get out. No supervision, no consequences, no responsibilities at home. Ryan Hare's parents should have been held responsible with his first run in with the law. Manditory parenting class and family counciling if your teen gets into trouble with the law. Their younger son is in trouble with the law now too.http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/local&id=6013794 There is the story of Ryan Hare's previous run in.

  • newhillhorse Sep 17, 2010

    Appears to me that there was a total lack of supervision on the parent's part. Allegra's mother should be ashamed of herself! Allegra was allowed to wander all over Wake County, go to a property with all these guys and no supervision(duh parents what do you think is going to happen??? drugs? sex? TROUBLE!). It's a disgrace, her allowing her 16 year old daughter's boyfriend sleep over in the same room and bed. Especially when she is saying “I ove you, if I didn’t I wouldn’t have your baby… I’ll ditch school because you’ve dropped out” Why didn't her mom put her in therapy...it's quite obvious she had low self esteem and looked for it in all the wrong places. Instead she threw money at her, car, horses, ect. Her mom had the resources and isn't completely clueless (she apparently works in law). Allegra had Olympic dreams...yeah right if she had she would be at the barn every day instead of hiding a body.

  • shortcake53 Sep 15, 2010

    I'm sick of the tears on the criminals faces. Suck it up. This was YOUR grand plan, but I guess you didnt plan on getting caught. So too bad for you now. Seeing them cry now that they are being forced to tell what they did only makes me more angry at them.

  • nctorwart Sep 15, 2010

    Life w/o parole? Not on my dime. A rope and short drop is a heck of a lot cheaper. It even saves electricity.

  • wildcat Sep 15, 2010


  • carykad Sep 15, 2010

    All four deserve death, not plea deals.

  • wildcat Sep 15, 2010

    They all were smart enough to plan an elaborate murder; so don't allow them to play dumb now. They all know what they were doing and what was going on. Afterwards they all went out to eat giving not thought and telling no one what had happened. The courts and jury should give them all LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT PAROLE. THEIR PARENTS CAN VISIT AND WRITE THEM. LET PRISON BE THERE NEW HOME FOR ETERNITY.