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Three others sentenced in Apex teen's 2008 slaying

Posted November 15, 2010
Updated November 16, 2010

— Three teenagers originally charged with first-degree murder in the death of Apex teenager Matthew Silliman were sentenced Monday on reduced charges, closing a nearly 2-year-old murder case that prosecutors likened to a strange fiction movie.

Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway handed down a 196- to 245-month prison term for Aadil Khan for second-degree murder in connection with Silliman’s death on Nov. 30, 2008.

The judge also handed down a consecutive 196- to 245-month sentence for conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder in connection with a failed attempt to kill the 18-year-old five days earlier.

The sentence is the maximum Khan, 19, could receive under state law.

Allegra Rose Dahlquist, 19, received two consecutive 180- to 225-month prison terms for the same charges.

Drew Logan Shaw, 18, entered an Alford plea Monday to accessory after the fact to first-degree murder. He was sentenced to 45 to 63 months in prison.

In an Alford plea, a defendant pleads guilty, while maintaining his or her innocence, and admits it is in his or her best interest to take the plea deal because there is sufficient evidence that could find him or her guilty.

Silliman, who had a diagnosis for depression and bipolar disorder, was reported missing and a Silver Alert for him was issued on Nov. 26, 2008.

Ryan Patrick Hare, 19, was found guilty Sept. 24 of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and attempted first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Prosecutors argued that Hare was jealous of Silliman’s friendship with Dahlquist – Hare’s girlfriend – and concocted a “sinister plot” involving a fictional hit man.

Shaw and Dahlquist testified during Hare’s trial that the four ultimately lured Silliman to hide out for several days in an abandoned trailer in New Hill. Eventually, they left Silliman in the bathroom, bound with zip ties and his mouth duct taped, choking on his vomit with a plastic bag tight around his head.

Family of slain Apex teen reacts to sentencing Silliman family reacts to sentencing

Investigators found his body Dec. 2, 2008, after Shaw told his grandmother what happened.

Dahlquist and Khan pleaded guilty earlier this year in exchange for their testimony against Hare. Dahlquist and Shaw both testified. Kahn did not because he said he was unable to remember the details of the murder.

“You’ve heard the case,” Wake County Assistant District Attorney Jason Waller told Ridgeway during Khan’s hearing Monday morning. “Khan was an active participant in Matt’s murder. Hare was the mastermind, but the fact is that Mr. Khan was the henchman. He was Mr. Hare’s right-hand man.”

Dahlquist and Shaw also were to blame, prosecutors said, but their testimony and cooperation helped convict Hare.

“He made a lot of stupid decisions,” Waller said of Shaw. “But luckily, he did make the right decision of eventually telling someone who had some sense.”

Had it not been for Shaw, who did not participate in the killing, telling his grandmother several days after the killing, Waller said he wasn’t sure if Khan and Dahlquist would have cooperated with investigators or what might have happened to Silliman’s body.

Both Dahlquist and Shaw made tearful apologies to Silliman’s family in court.

“I’m so deeply sorry for everything I did to Matt and everything I failed to do for Matt,” Shaw said. “I'm very sorry for all of this, and I pray often, sometimes many times a day, that you will find closure and God's healing.”

Khan also apologized.

“He was a great friend to me. I could see he loved his family and friends, and they loved him too,” Khan said. “I looked up to him at times.”

“I wish he were here today,” he continued. “I wish he could give more fun memories, but I know it’s not going to happen because of what I did.”

Silliman’s father said during the hearing he has forgiven them for the crime, just as his son would have and just as God had.

“You were created in the image of God, who even today, longs for you to know His love and forgiveness and to walk with Him in a way that makes even a prison a cathedral,” Ben Silliman said. “Seek Him while He may be found.”

Following the sentencing, the Silliman family said they were doing well and just want closure.

The toughest part of the process for Ben Silliman was hearing how his son had been killed. 

"He had been killed by people he had considered friends," he said. 

Mary Silliman, 15, said it has been difficult reliving everything that happened to her brother. 

"It was hard for me to hear any of the Medical Examiner's stuff. I had to leave," Silliman's mother, Betty Silliman, said. 

Through the court hearings, the Sillimans have gotten to know the families of the defendants. 

"The kids and their families regret this day ever occurred," Ben Silliman said. 

After two long years, the Silliman family said they want to focus more on the times they had than what they lost. 

"That is our satisfaction. That for 18 years God gave us that blessing," Ben Silliman said. 


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  • shortcake53 Nov 16, 2010

    Amen Tstorm

  • TStorm Nov 16, 2010

    Why do some people have to always blame the parents. The age of these teenagers alone makes them and them alone responsible for their actions, I'm 100% positive their parents didn't raise them to go out and murder people, if they where having issues with them I'm sure the parents, went looking for help. They ALONE made this choice, this is what is wrong with the children these days always blaming someone else other then putting the responsibility back where it belongs, if you make poor decisions that is on you that is your responsibility NOT anyone else, stop blaming other people for poor judgment and hold children more responsible for their own actions just like the court did. Unfortunately I don't believe that the sentences fit the crime, it should be life no if and buts about it but hey this is NC this is is where the schools, teachers, society make excuses for children/adults so they can continue about their unruly ways until it's to late and then, guess who they blame? THE PARENTS

  • shortcake53 Nov 16, 2010

    speak for yourself havealife, I will not put myself in the same catagory as these murdering creeps. I most certainly am not guilty for condeming them.

  • havealife Nov 16, 2010

    my heart hurts everytime i read or hear about our young going to prison. we all are guilty of making decisions and later regreting. the Stillman attitude of forgiveness is better than anything that can be done at this point. i commend them for speaking with the families. when you teach a child what is right or wrong, the decisions they make are theirs to own. they have to live with those decisions just as we do. all of us should include the victim's family as well as the accused families in our prayers. it is time we stop pointing fingers and give a hand to someone that may be going in the wrong direction. i know i posted something different earlier, however, the truth is what prevails. we are just as guilty when we condemn with our mouths.

  • anne53ozzy Nov 16, 2010

    Closure is a nonsensical ideal. There can be no such thing as long as, in this culture, we agree that finding and sentencing violent criminals is the end of the problem. The notion that individual rights and the right to privacy trumps the better good is killing us and our kids. Perhaps it does take a village to raise a child. People have kids and raise them and are monitored in a lesser way than those who drive cars......

  • bear2010 Nov 16, 2010

    they always say boys and girls can't be friends..only because there's another boy out there who wants to be more than friends...HATERS!!!!!!

  • 88gta Nov 16, 2010

    I think the judge was very fair in sentencing all of the kids. From an outsider's point of view I beleive that justice was served, although sadly nothing can undo the unjust consequences of their actions. I hope the Silliman family is satisfied with the sentencing and will be able to have some sense of closure now.

  • anne53ozzy Nov 16, 2010

    The family is strong and dignified. However, these remorseful comments by criminals leave me cold. As long as the sentencing of perpetarators has guidelines that may include expression of remorse as mediating factors, it is meaningless to me. I would cry too if I were being sent to prison. They need to save the tears for the cells and their private torment.

  • Zoey0815 Nov 16, 2010

    It's sad to read the comments by readers screaming for vengeance and executions, and then read comments from the families of the victims who don't want any more bloodshed. Why are the ones who were directly affected not screaming for capital punishment? Maybe they are tired of the violence. There aren't too many of us who go through a tragedy like this, so we should reserve snap judgments until we walk in their shoes. What really is worse? A painless execution that ends it all, or a long life behind bars getting raped and beaten? The three square meals come at a great cost. One of my friends got lost in the NYC jails for 48 hours after being busted with a small amount ($10) of pot. Yes, jail personnel lost track of him. He spent two days in prison with murderers, rapists, and Chinese mafia. The charges were dropped after they found him. He never talked about what happened and he was never the same. If prison is so fantastic, why aren't we all inside?

  • so you dont like my opinion ok Nov 16, 2010

    I can't wait until this movie comes out.

    What a sicko you must be to want to see a movie about this awfully sad situation. You need help because anyone that would want to see something as horrendous as this is sick to the core. I feel so sorry for the families here and can't even begin to imagine how I would feel if someone did this to my child or that one of my children could do something like this. It is hard to fathom what brings someone to do this kind of thing and that someone else wants a movie to watch, sick, sick.