HAMILTON —; The accused killers of a Hamilton man whose remains were found burned beyond recognition face another murder trial next year in the death of a young woman.
But a judge in Hamilton did not allow any mention of the upcoming proceedings during the lengthy trial of Dellen Millard and Mark Smich, who are accused of killing Tim Bosma and torching his body in an animal incinerator three years ago.
Both Millard, 30, of Toronto, and Smich, 28, of Oakville, Ont., have pleaded not guilty to the murder charges in the death of Bosma, who disappeared on May 6, 2013 after taking two men for a test drive in a truck he was trying to sell online.
READ MORE: Jury deliberations continue in murder trial of Tim Bosma’s accused killers
The two men – who court heard first met via drug dealing and later committed “missions” together, code name for thefts – are also charged with first-degree murder in the death of Laura Babcock, a 23-year-old woman from Toronto who disappeared in the summer of 2012.
Police says Babcock, whose body was never found, was romantically involved with Millard. The trial into her slaying is expected to begin early next year.
Smich’s lawyer, Thomas Dungey, said his client intends to plead not guilty to those charges. Millard did not respond to a request for comment, but at a court appearance for that case early this year, he said he intends to represent himself at trial.
Millard also faces first-degree murder charges in the death of his father, Wayne Millard, in November 2012, which was initially deemed a suicide. A date for that trial hasn’t been set yet.
READ MORE: Judge tells jury to disregard some comments from key players in Tim Bosma murder trial
The circumstances of Bosma’s disappearance and the massive search for the married father of a two-year-old girl made headlines across the country. The graphic testimony during the trial, which often prompted Bosma’s widow and other family members to burst into tears or rush out of the courtroom, hogged headlines in Ontario for months.
Millard chose not to testify, so the jury didn’t hear him talk about his friend and co-accused. Smich, who did take the stand, described the relationship in detail.
The two first met after Millard called Smich looking to buy drugs, Smich testified, describing himself as a small-time drug dealer.
“As time went on, our bond was stronger and I felt like he was a brother to me,” Smich said of Millard.
On the surface, the two had vastly different backgrounds.
READ MORE: Tim Bosma’s accused murderers killed ‘for the thrill of it’: Crown
Millard was the heir to an aviation empire – Millardair – that his grandfather started more than 50 years ago. He owned numerous real estate properties in and around Toronto, several cars, trucks, planes and a helicopter. Court heard Millard travelled the world – and once competed in the famous Baja off-road race in Mexico.
Smich testified he was broke, sold drugs as his only means of income and held odd jobs throughout his life. He said he also worked for Millard in odd jobs that ranged from painting his friend’s house in western Toronto to doing manual labour at the hangar in Waterloo, Ont.
Millard would sometimes pay him in weed, shoes or would cover his cellphone bills, Smich said. The two bonded over video games, he added, and would play Halo for hours on end with other friends at Millard’s house. They often partied together.
“We both liked to smoke weed and hang out,” Smich testified.
READ MORE: Tim Bosma’s accused killer too smart to commit such a dumb crime, says lawyer
Smich also told court they stole together, from trees to trailers to a “skid steer” – a small loading vehicle used in construction. One time, he said, after the two enjoyed chicken wings and beer in a restaurant, they stole a floor polisher that was in the bed of a pickup truck in the parking lot. Smich said neither knew what it was, but they stole it anyway.
The tight friendship changed at some point after Bosma’s death, court heard.
Smich testified it was Millard who shot and killed Bosma in his truck and then burned his body. He said he helped cover the crime because he was terrified of his “lunatic” friend. Millard’s lawyer, meantime, says Smich accidentally killed Bosma while he was trying to steal his truck.
Millard didn’t mince words in secret jailhouse letters that he sent to his girlfriend, Christina Noudga. In one letter from the summer of 2013, read out in court, Millard said Smich screwed up the truck robbery and he only helped clean up his mess.
In another letter, Millard wrote: “And treacherous Mark; got himself charged by trying to put it on me.”