This is a copy of the Crown’s opening statement in the trial of Dellen Millard and Mark Smich for the murder of Tim Bosma. It replaces an earlier post based on the notes I took on the first day of the trial. The full text of the statement was not available at the time I made my original post.
You should note that this is not an official transcript.
As well, I am including at the beginning the remarks the Crown made to clarify what exactly an opening statement is. You will also find them repeated at the end of the address, which is when the jury heard them:
The outline that I have provided is just that. It’s not evidence until a witness makes it that.
Witnesses may testify differently than what has been outlined. Then, disregard what I have said if it is not consistent with the evidence of any witness
This outline is merely to assist in your initial understanding of the events surrounding the death of Tim Bosma.
Assistant Crown Attorney Craig Fraser turned his lectern toward the jurors and faced them as he gave his opening statement on February 1, 2016. Here it is:
For sale by owner.
A 2007 Dodge Power Ram 3500 Diesel 4 x 4 pick-up truck.
170,000 kilometres – mostly highway
5.9 litre engine
Extended cab – short box
Gray cloth interior
New transmission, new brakes.
Address: Ancaster, Ontario
This ad was posted by Tim Bosma’s wife Sharlene, and in the ad was contact information for Tim Bosma, including his phone number. Sharlene Bosma posted these ads on Kijiji and Autotrader a week or so before the the events of May 6th , 2013.
The truck was starting to cost too much in repairs. They were a young family and, like many young families, money was tight and the sale of the truck was necessary.
Six days later on May 12th, 2013, this same truck, Tim Bosma’s truck, was recovered in the driveway of a residence in Kleinburg, Ontario, a small town north of Toronto. The truck was inside a large trailer. The residence was owned by Dellen Millard’s mother.
The interior of the truck had been stripped. Carpets gone. The front seats, gone.
The front seats were found in the same trailer behind the truck and against the main rear doors of the trailer. The driver’s seat, center console and passenger seat had no upholstery, no cushioning, just charred metal. They had been burned.
Forensic examination of the truck would take place in the days, weeks and months following.
Significant amounts of gunshot residue were found on the inside of the truck, with especially high concentrations in the front seat area, both passenger side ceiling and driver’s side ceiling.
Further forensic examination found the blood DNA of Tim Bosma on the inside of the truck in various areas, including the inside rear passenger door; rear passenger armrest; around the glove box; and front passenger cup holder.
Tim Bosma’s blood was also found in various areas on the undercarriage of the truck.
The front passenger side window was shattered.
The police also recovered a spent 380 gun cartridge casing inside the truck.
Mr. Millard’s fingerprints were later found by police forensic officers on both the exterior and interior of the truck.
When Mr. Millard was arrested the police found in his vehicle the keys to Tim Bosma’s truck.
On May 11th, the day before the police recovered Tim Bosma’s truck in the driveway of Dellen Millard’s mother’s residence (May 12th), the police searched a farm property owned by Dellen Millard in Ayr, Ontario, just outside Cambridge.
While police were executing the search warrant they located a cremation device, the Eliminator.
The Eliminator is designed and manufactured in the U.S.A. by a company in Georgia and the device is used to , among other things, incinerate farm animal carcasses large and small. The model of the Eliminator the police located on the accused`s property was large enough for humans to fit inside.
It was found by police in a stand of trees on the Millard farm property, away from the farm buildings, and not easily visible.
The day before his arrest on May 10th, Dellen Millard moved the Eliminator from the barn on his property out to the area where police found it. Mr. Millard did this while it was dark, late at night, and with the assistance of his girlfriend.
When the police first saw the Eliminator, they were struck by its size, the location of it in the trees and the descriptors for the device which were on a metal plate attached to the unit – “The Eliminator – Small and Large Animal Cremators”. The police had not seen anything like it before.
Tim Bosma was still missing at this point and Dellen Millard had been arrested the day before for the theft of Tim Bosma’s truck and his forcible confinement, or abduction.
The police were still concerned about the well-being of Tim Bosma and his whereabouts.
Police looked inside the Eliminator and it appeared to have been cleaned out, but in looking straight down into the main vault area, the Forensic Identification Officer saw what looked like bones. She did not know if they were human or animal. This officer took the bone(s) out of the Eliminator, photographed them and contacted a Forensic Anthropologist at the University of Toronto who police knew from previous cases.
As it was a missing person investigation, police wanted an immediate opinion on whether the bones were human.
The preliminary opinion given by the Forensic Anthropologist was they were human bones and the following morning – a Sunday – this expert attended the police station, examined the bones and confirmed her initial opinion that they were human bones.
In the following days, this Forensic Anthropologist and a police Forensic Identification Officer attended the farm and removed, examined and analyzed the remains in the Eliminator.
The opinion of the expert was that inside the vault area was cremated adult human remains of one individual.
58 bone fragments, 2 virtually complete bones and one tooth were recovered from inside the vault. 17 of these bone fragments and 2 complete bones were definitely human – the tooth appeared human. The remaining 41 bone fragments exhibited characteristics of human bone.
It was her opinion that person was likely male and under 40 years old.
Further forensic examination of the Eliminator found blood on the main hatch area of the vault. It was Tim Bosma’s blood.
Dellen Millard and Mark Smich were friends, but they did not know Tim Bosma and Tim Bosma did not know either of them. The random coming together of their different worlds would occur on May 6th, 2013, the day Tim Bosma was murdered.
The Crown intends to prove that on this date in the late evening hours, Tim Bosma was killed in his truck, shot by the two accused at close range, while on a test drive with his truck; his body then incinerated hours later by the two accused.
Tim Bosma was 32 years old, married to Sharlene and a young father. He worked full-time in his own business, installing heating and air conditioning systems. He had had no police involvement.
At the time of the arrest of Dellen Millard for first degree murder the police were focussed on Mark Smich as the second person involved and his arrest on the same charge would happen a week or so later. ( May 22)
In order to understand the disappearance of Tim Bosma on May 6th, 2013 and his murder, it is important to understand the events in the days immediately before. The weekend of Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5th.
On Saturday, May 4th, Tim Bosma was phoned by a person the Crown intends to prove was Dellen Millard. They spoke for a few minutes and arrangements were made for Mr. Millard to come see the truck on Monday evening, May 6th.
On the Sunday, Tim Bosma washed and waxed the truck in anticipation of the possible sale of his truck on Monday night.
Tim Bosma worked Monday and arrived home around 5:30 p.m. Sharlene described him as “upset” because he had not heard from the guy that day and he was uncertain if the guy was still coming. Tim, in the morning that day, sent a text to the same number that called him.
“Good morning. It’s Tim. I’m working in Hamilton today if you want to meet or do you still want to meet at my house tonight for 7 pm?” The text went unanswered.
Shortly after, expressing his frustration to Sharlene, and just after 7:00 p.m., Tim Bosma did receive a phone call from Mr. Millard, who told Tim he was coming from Toronto and he would be about an hour.
It is not apparent that in his dealings with Tim Bosma the caller provided his name, nonetheless the Crown intends to prove the identity of the caller as Dellen Millard.
Mr. Millard called Tim Bosma a second time as he was arriving in Ancaster just after 9:00 p.m.. At this time, the two accused Dellen Millard and the person the Crown intends to prove was Mark Smich walked up the driveway of the Bosma’s residence on Trinity Road on the outskirts of Ancaster.
Sharlene saw both her husband Tim and the taller of the two, Mr. Millard, on their cell phones. She saw that they hung up their cell phones at the same time. She took from this they had been speaking to each other.
Tim Bosma told the two men, Mr. Millard and Mr. Smich, they could have parked in the driveway, but Mr. Millard told Tim ,no, they had got a ride from a friend who had dropped them off and the friend had gone to Tim Horton’s.
They shook hands, walked around the truck for a brief inspection and then the three of them got in the truck for a test drive. Dellen Millard driving; Tim Bosma in the front passenger seat; and Mark Smich got in the back seat.
Tim said to Sharlene they were going for a test drive and they would be back soon. They turned left out of the driveway onto Trinity Road heading north.
Tim Bosma was never seen or heard from again.
When Tim Bosma had not returned as he said he would, Sharlene tried his phone repeatedly and each time it went straight to voicemail. She also sent a text message asking quote “Where are you”. All of these attempts to contact him went unanswered. Sharlene called family and friends for help and, then, the Hamilton Police.
As a result of the missing person investigation which began on May 7th immediately after Tim’s disappearance, the police identified three other men who had advertised similar trucks for sale on the Kijiji website and in Autotrader online.
These men were interviewed by police as the same phone number that called Tim Bosma on the Saturday had called these men around the same time. These three men were also selling diesel engine Dodge trucks.
The male caller, who made inquiries of two of these men about their Dodge trucks, identified himself to them as a name that sounded to them at the time as either “Evan, Ewan or Avan”.
On Sunday, May 5, 2013, the day before Tim Bosma’s murder, one of these men went for a test drive with two males the Crown intends to prove were Mr. Millard and Mr. Smich , in his 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 diesel truck.
The seller told police that the one male, who did all the talking and test drove the truck, was: male white, 6’4”, medium build, 90 kgs, light brown short hair like a flat top, clean shaven, 27 to 32 years of age, a tattoo of the word “Ambition” on his wrist where a watch would be worn, and other unidentified tattoos. He was wearing light blue jeans, orange t-shirt and carrying an “Indiana Jones” style satchel bag. This male said his name was either Ewan or Evan. This was Mr. Millard. His middle name is Evan.
The second male sat in the rear seat of the truck. The seller did not have much to say or do with this person. The Crown intends to prove that this person was Mr. Smich.
After the test drive, Mr. Millard told the seller that they were looking at two other trucks, but they would call him back Monday night, May 6. This man never heard back from either accused.
Hamilton Police did further investigation on the “Ambition” tattoo and they received information from two different sources in Peel and Toronto, that a Dellen Evan Millard DOB 1985/08/30 had an Ambition tattoo. This was considered by police to be a significant lead.
Through cell phone records the Crown intends to prove both accused were using their cell phones in the area of this man’s residence, the other seller of the Dodge Diesel truck, in North Toronto in this time period on that day.
Also , cell phone records of both accused show them travelling from the Greater Toronto Area, through Oakville, to just outside the home of Tim Bosma on May 6, 2013. Both of their cell phones pinged off cell towers in close proximity to the Bosma home, immediately before Tim Bosma met the two accused. These phones were turned off immediately after the abduction, a short distance outside the area of the Bosma home, while Tim Bosma was in the truck with Mr. Millard and Mr. Smich.
Within a few hours of Tim Bosma’s abduction, shortly after midnight on May 7th, images captured by a neighbouring business’s video surveillance system at the Millardair ( the family business Mr. Millard worked in) Hangar at Waterloo Regional Airport shows what the Crown intends to prove was Tim Bosma’s truck towing the Eliminator up to the hangar and parking outside. The truck and Eliminator were followed closely by a vehicle similar to a GMC Yukon, a vehicle the Crown intends to prove was owned by Mr. Millard on the night in question.
This same video system also shows images of the Eliminator being ignited outside the hangar door. This, the Crown says, was the incineration phase of the death of Tim Bosma which took place over several hours in the early morning hours of May 7th.
A forensic video analyst will give evidence in this trial about his analysis of this video and several other relevant videos from various locations, dates and times.
Mr. Millard sent a message to his employees early Tuesday morning May 7 early telling them not to come to work at all that day as there were quote “airport politics no one goes to the hangar today, not even just to grab something”. End quote. When the employees returned to work the following day (Wednesday, May 8) an employee saw a black pick-up truck in the hangar that he believed could have been
Tim Bosma’s. He just had a feeling. This employee was aware of the missing person investigation from the news. He took photos of the truck, including the VIN (vehicle identification number), using his cell phone and later called Crimestoppers. By this point, the search for Tim Bosma as a missing person was widely-reported and receiving extensive public attention. The truck he saw in the hangar with the VIN he obtained was Tim Bosma’s truck. This was confirmed by Brantford Police who acted on the Crimestopper tip.
Also on this day, May 7, 2013, Mr. Millard told his roommate that they had stolen a truck on May 6, the day before. This roommate already knew that Mr. Millard and Mr. Smich planned to steal a truck of this kind. The Accused had told him this plan on the weekend.
Mr. Smich told his girlfriend that Mr. Millard stole the truck and that he (Mr. Smich) was there. Mr. Smich also said that the man they stole the truck from , who the Crown says was Tim Bosma, was quote “gone gone gone”.
Mr. Smich’s girlfriend told police of the two accused looking for a truck to steal and talking about this a few days before the murder. She also told police she remembered Mr. Millard picked up Mr. Smich on May 6, 2013 which would have been before they made their way to Ancaster to see Tim Bosma’s truck.
Within days of the murder, Mr. Millard contacted a person he knew from past dealings who owned an auto body shop. Mr. Millard intended to paint Tim Bosma’s truck. Mr. Millard also instructed his mechanic/employee to remove the decals and other identifiers from the truck in preparation for the makeover.
Mr. Millard contacted a friend on May 9, 2013, the night before his arrest and made arrangements to drop off a locked tool box for him to hold on to. Mr. Millard did this around 4:00 a.m. with his girlfriend.
After the arrest of Mr. Millard, Mr. Smich obtained possession of the toolbox from mutual friends of the two Accused. Mr. Smich was aware of the arrest of Mr. Millard and he took steps to gain control and possession of the locked toolbox.
The toolbox in question was seized in the home of Mr. Smich upon his arrest on May 22, 2013. Forensic examination of the toolbox found gunshot residue on the interior. There was no gun in the toolbox because Mr. Smich had already taken steps to dispose of it.
Mr. Smich’s girlfriend told police that Mr. Smich told her that he had the gun, but that he got rid of the gun by burying it in the forest. Mr. Smich was not more specific than that with her.
Before burying the gun, Mr. Smich tried to sell the gun through a friend. He was unsuccessful.
Mr. Millard’s girlfriend will testify in this trial. She is currently charged with Accessory After the Fact to Murder for her role in events after the murder of Tim Bosma. Her trial on this charge is pending. In her statement to police she said, among other things, she was with Mr. Millard when he towed the trailer and truck to Mr. Millard’s mother’s in Kleinburg on May 9th; she was with Mr. Millard when they moved the Eliminator into the stand of trees that same night after dropping off the truck and trailer at Mr. Millard’s mothers’; and she said she was with Mr. Millard when he took the locked tool box to his friend’s house in the early morning hours of May 10th.
After Mr. Millard’s girlfriend was charged for her role, police executed a search warrant on her residence in Toronto and seized from her bedroom several letters that were written to her by Mr. Millard over a period of many months while he was in jail after his arrest. These letters varied in terms of content, but one theme of many letters was Mr. Millard wanting a key Crown witness to change his evidence. His girlfriend was asked to reach out to this person to get him to change his evidence.
This was a person Mr. Millard considered a friend and someone who he believed could be convinced to change the his statement to police. This was to assist Mr. Millard as he considered what this person knew about the plan to steal the truck as damning and incriminating information. For example, in one such letter to his girlfriend, Mr. Millard wrote the following: “If he knew his words were going to get me a life sentence , he would want to change them. Show him how he can, and he will change them.”
Despite Mr. Millard’s written direction at the end of many of these letters to “destroy these letters”, they were still in the girlfriend’s bedroom in April , 2014, when she was arrested for her involvement which was almost 1 year after the murder and the arrest of Mr. Millard.
In the search of Mr. Millard’s girlfriend`s residence, police also seized from her bedroom a DVR- digital video recorder – that Mr. Millard had taken from the airport hangar and given to his girlfriend to hold on to, apparently without explanation. He gave this to her on May 9th when he picked her up while en route to Kleinburg to drop the trailer with Tim Bosma`s truck in it at his mother`s place.
The police examined the contents of the video and the Crown intends to prove that Dellen Millard and Mark Smich are in the hangar on May 7th at around 1:30 am – during the time the Crown says the remains of Tim Bosma were being incinerated in the Eliminator, just outside the hangar doors.
The outline I have provided to you is just that. It is not evidence in this case until a witness makes it evidence. It is what the Crown anticipates the evidence will be based mainly on witness statements and the preparation of witnesses for trial.
Despite this, witnesses may in fact testify differently than what has been outlined to you. If this happens, you are only to consider what the witness tells you in this case in this trial. You will have to disregard what I have said if it is not consistent with the evidence of a witness.
You have heard information about this case for the first time of what witnesses saw and heard, and what they did regarding this investigation as civilians, police or experts. It is not expected that this picture is absolutely clear to you now. The outline in this opening is merely to assist your initial understanding of the events surrounding the murder of Tim Bosma.
Fortunately, the testimony of all the witnesses, civilians, police and experts, in this case will proceed at a pace which will allow you to fully consider the witness’ testimony. It will allow you to decide the involvement of the two accused and whether or not they are guilty as charged for the First Degree Murder of Tim Bosma.
The Crown calls as its first witness Sharlene Bosma.
Throughout the trial I will be providing regular updates, including the occasional tweet, as I work on my upcoming book on the Tim Bosma case. You can follow my Twitter feed or sign up for my newsletter.
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