On a terrible anniversary, Bosma’s killers still face trials
Millard, Smich have appealed and face other murder charges
It feels like yesterday that Tim Bosma was murdered.
Yet it seems like forever since his killers first appeared in court.
Today marks the anniversary of Tim’s death. It has been four years since his parents have been without their son, his wife without her husband, his daughter without her Daddy.
Like many of you, I remember that desperate spring week well. The frantic search. The dimming hope. The horror.
Tim set out on May 6, 2013, to take two strangers for a test drive of the truck he was selling. The men, who we now know were Dellen Millard and Mark Smich, shot him, incinerated him and stole that damned truck.
On May 11, Millard was arrested. On May 22, Smich was taken into custody.
The Bosma family wants its privacy now. On the day of the guilty verdicts last June, they stood in front of a wall of cameras and journalists and cried and laughed and hugged the Crown attorneys and each other. Now they want peace. Quiet. A chance to remember and mourn without the rest of us watching.
But even the Bosmas wonder what has become of Millard and Smich. The killers’ long and winding trek through the justice system is far from over.
They are both in federal prison now, serving their life sentences for Tim’s firstdegree murder. Both have, however, appealed their guilty verdicts, which is their automatic right and the usual course in these matters.
Having said that, it could be months, if not years, before their appeals are heard.
Meanwhile, each is set to go on trial again.
Both are charged with the first-degree murder of Laura Babcock, a troubled young woman who had been sexually involved with Millard. She disappeared in June 2012, and some of the last calls on her phone involved Millard.
Her body has never been found and I have reported in the past that she, too, is believed by investigators to have been incinerated.
That trial, which will be presided over by Justice Michael Code in Toronto, has been pushed back a few times now. The Crowns are Jill Cameron and Ken Lockhart of Toronto, both of whom spent many days sitting in the courtroom during the Hamilton trial.
I should remind you at this point that there are a slew of extraordinary publication bans on the upcoming court matters as well as many outstanding bans from Tim’s trial. So there is still much you are not allowed to know.
I can tell you Millard initially said he would represent himself at trial for Laura’s murder.
Then he changed his mind and asked for a lawyer. But, despite being the heir to his family’s aviation fortune, he told the court he was broke. He asked for legal aid.
Millard has said he’d like to retain Nadir Sachak, who, along with Ravin Pillay, defended him at Tim’s trial. When contacted, Sachak declined to comment.
As for Smich, he is once again represented by Thomas Dungey and Jennifer Trehearne, the team that took him through Tim’s trial.
Dungey made a stunning announcement in court a few months ago. He said he intends to make a formal application in Laura’s case to have the murder charge against Smich stayed.
He cites the new Supreme Court of Canada ruling that orders Superior court trials should be heard within 30 months of an arrest. It has now been 48 months since Smich was arrested.
Though some of the delay may have been caused by Millard’s attempts to retain counsel, the vast majority of the delay, of course, has been due to Smich’s earlier murder trial.
It will be interesting to see what the court does with this issue.
At this point, it seems Laura’s murder trial will begin in October, at the earliest. It is anticipated it would finish by Christmas.
And then there is still another trial for Millard.
He is also charged with first-degree murder for the death of his father, Wayne Millard, in Etobicoke in November 2012. Wayne’s death was originally ruled a suicide, the coroner deciding he had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head. The case was reopened after Millard was charged in Tim’s death.
Cameron and Lockhart will prosecute that one as well, and it is tentatively scheduled for March, although Millard has not yet retained a lawyer.
So it is very possible that another anniversary of Tim’s murder will pass before his killers face all their charges.
Sharlene Bosma: family has asked for privacy
Tim Bosma: fourth anniversary of his death