Local News

Crime scene evidence focus of Hare trial testimony

Posted September 20, 2010 9:41 a.m. EDT
Updated September 20, 2010 8:51 p.m. EDT

— Jurors got an up-close look at evidence Monday in the murder trial of a man accused of scheming to kill and murdering an Apex High School senior two years ago because he was jealous of the relationship the teen had with his girlfriend.

Thomas Como, an agent with the Wake County City-County Bureau of Identification, spent the morning going over evidence that investigators recovered from the scene where 18-year-old Matthew Silliman was found on Dec. 2, 2008.

Ryan Patrick Hare, 19, one of four people charged in the case, is on trial and faces a life sentence in prison if he's found guilty.

Como testified that he lifted fingerprints from the mobile home where the crime occurred and on the SUV of Hare's girlfriend, Allegra Dahlquist.

Jurors were able to examine up-close the evidence, which included duct tape that investigators believe was placed over Silliman's mouth, zip ties used to bind his hands and feet and plastic bags that were placed on his feet and head.

Prosecutors say Hare and three others, including Dahlquist, lured Silliman to the abandoned trailer in New Hill, where he stayed for several days, believing his friends were helping him flee from a mysterious man who was out to have him killed.

Meanwhile, witnesses testified, the three had dug a grave near some railroad tracks off Old U.S. Highway 64 in southern Wake County. Hare, they said, also talked about ways to kill Silliman after a first attempt to suffocate him with a zip tie failed.

Dahlquist, whose testimony was part of a plea deal with the state, testified last week that Hare's second plan, ultimately, was to hit Silliman on the head with a hammer and choke him while she distracted him with a tarot card reading.

Silliman was unfazed by the blow to the head, she said, and it was Hare's idea to convince Silliman that he needed to end his life.

After he passed out from a cocktail of wine and horse tranquilizers, Hare, Dahlquist and another teen, Aadil Khan, bound Silliman's hands and feet with zip ties, taped his mouth with duct tape and put a plastic bag over his head that was fastened with a zip tie.

Investigators found Silliman wrapped up in his sleeping bag. An autopsy determined he died from asphyxiation.

The prosecution is expected to wrap up its case this week, when it's expected that Hare's attorney, Robert Padovano will show that Hare's role in Silliman's death was one of assisted suicide, not murder.