Adonay Zekarias killed, dismembered and disposed of his former female roommate because he wanted to conceal his earlier slaying of hotel maid Nighisti Semret in 2012, the prosecution alleged Monday.
Zekarias is charged with first-degree murder in the May 15, 2013 death of Rigat Ghirmay, 28.
The woman was his roommate and close friend when Semret, 55, was fatally stabbed while walking to her Cabbagetown home from her overnight job at a Gerrard St. E. hotel on Oct. 23, 2012.
Zekarias, 46. has pleaded not guilty at the judge-alone trial. He is now serving a life sentence after a jury convicted him of first-degree murder in June 2015 for the Semret slaying.
The two slayings are intertwined, the prosecution has alleged. When Semret was attacked, Good Samaritan David Hughes tried to stop Zekarias with his umbrella. Zekarias’ DNA was deposited under Semret’s fingernails and on Hughes’s umbrella, court heard.
In April 2013, Ghirmay moved out of Zekarias’ apartment and into her own Shuter St. apartment.
A month later, police revealed that the killer’s DNA evidence was gleaned from Semret’s crime scene as her killer likely injured his hands. A $50,000 reward was offered. Ghirmay was killed nine or 10 days later.
Zekarias and Ghirmay were seen together on many occasions in both of their apartments in 2013. She was last seen entering her Shuter St. building with Zekarias on May 15 at 8 p.m. and killed inside her apartment, the Crown alleged.
On May 24, 2013, Ghirmay’s torso was discovered in a duffle bag only 500 metres from Zekarias’ home.
In 2016, bone collector Michael Paquet told police he discovered human bones and a skull at Lavender Creek Trail. Investigators determined these bones and skull were Ghirmay’s missing remains. Only her two feet and right hand were never found.
The trial resumes Tuesday.