Detective: Teen called Silliman's death 'assisted suicide'

Apex Police Department Detective Worth Brown
September 16, 2010 9:00:00 PM PDT
Day five of the Matthew Silliman murder trial included testimony from Apex police detectives.

One detective told the court that one of Silliman's friends said the Apex teen's death was an assisted suicide.

On day one of the trial, an attorney for defendant 19-year-old Ryan Hare told jurors the case is not a case of murder, but a case of assisted suicide. Now, on Friday, a detective says one of the teens in the case told him those words came straight from the victim's mouth.

However according to prosecutors, hare planned Silliman's murder and recruited three other friends to help.

Silliman was found dead almost two years ago, but a week before that discovery, police began investigating his disappearance.

They even called his cell phone provider, but Detective Ben Byrne testified the phone was turned off.

Then Drew Shaw's grandmother reported to police that Shaw told her he killed Silliman with a baseball bat. Shaw then went to the police department, and there was a confusing start to the case.

In fact, police did not believe Shaw killed Silliman, and Shaw eventually admitted his confession was a lie. He provided details about what happened before he left the abandoned trailer where Silliman died.

"The fact that Ryan had hit him with a hammer and that he was drinking and in addition to that, he was making comments that he's standing there taking these pills and drinking this wine and tranquilizer mixture," Detective Worth Brown testified. "And no one's really trying to stop him. They're trying to egg him on, actually."

Witnesses including Silliman's mother have said the teen Eagle Scout was bipolar and suicidal. Recently, he had begun a romance with Allegra Dahlquist -- Hare's girlfriend.

Silliman believed Hare's story that a hit man named "Roger" insisted Silliman be sacrificed or Hare would die.

Although Shaw didn't know exactly what had happened to Silliman, he figured he was dead because of what he heard before he left.

"He said that Matt made the statement, um, 'Hey, this is, this is like assisted suicide,'" Detective Brown testified Friday.

Although investigators found Silliman's body in the trailer -- bound and gagged with a plastic bag over his head -- the original plan was to bury his body, according to witnesses.

And in more testimony Friday, an investigator said one of the teens involved took them to a hole that had been dug in the ground and nonchalantly said they dug the hole to bury Silliman.

By then, Hare was already well known to Apex police.

"We've had interaction with him before as a law enforcement agency," Apex Police Detective Ben Byrne said.

In March 2008, Chopper 11 caught the Apex SWAT team converging on Hare's house after he was accused of shooting a school bus with a paint ball gun and rumblings that he had been making pipe bombs.

Apex police did not find bombs, only a legal assault rifle and ammunition. But back then, the police chief said they weren't taking any chances.

"I would much rather have any question about in my mind about whether I prevented something than to not be able to look at myself in the mirror and realize that I didn't act and I contributed to a horrible consequence," said Apex Police Chief Jack Lewis in March 2008.

Some say a prophetic statement considering the crime Hare and the three other teens are accused of committing against their friend. However, it doesn't appear there's much Apex police could have done to prevent Silliman's death.

Hare could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder.

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