After taking a few days to think about how I can best cover the Tim Bosma trial and what I can do here on my website that not every other reporter in the courtroom is already doing, I’ve decided to try and host an ongoing AMA. (AMA — if you’re not familiar with the term, which originates with Reddit — stands for Ask Me Anything.)
Although in this case, it will have to be “Ask Me Anything that I can answer without the risk of being in contempt of court.” A trial is a very sensitive time. Journalists take great pains to only report on what’s said and done in court in front of the jury. We can’t cover anything else.
So that means you can AMA about what happens in court in front of the jury and I will try to provide the answer. After a few days, I’ll assess whether it’s a workable plan for the rest of the trial and whether people are interested.
Please ask your question(s) by leaving a comment and I will answer when I get the chance. My goal is to do so asap after you ask it, but I don’t want to make promises I can’t keep. This is a work in progress.
Here’s an example:
Arnie asks: Hi Ann … you are one of my favorite reporters on this case and I look forward to your book in the future. Have you been able to tell if the “ambition” tattoo has a rectangular border around it or not?
Me: This is what my notes (not the official transcript) show about the witness who spotted the Ambition tattoo. He appeared on Thursday and will be back Monday:
Igor Tumanenko said: “It was saying ambition and it was in a frame.”
“Small or capitals?” prosecutor Brett Moodie asked
“I think it was capitals,” Tumanenko answered.
Snoop Beaver asks: How much advance notice do reporters have of the list of witnesses?
Me: It varies from day to day. Also, keep in mind, no one ever knows how long a witness will take. The trial powered through seven witnesses on Wednesday and finished early. Then there were, nine or ten scheduled for Thursday, and they didn’t get through three. A trial is very much a work in progress.
Snoop Beaver: Does (Dellen) Millard have supporters in court – friends, family?
Me: It’s possible that both he and (Mark) Smich do. Reserved seating is available for the families of the accused, but they may prefer to sit in non-reserved seats in the body of the courtroom.
Arnie asks a follow-up: In the courtroom , is the “ambition” tattoo visible, and does it have a rectangular box around it? thanks
Me: No tats on display in the courtroom.
A reader asks: Was the Mississauga phone number explained in court? Is it the number of any of the truck owners who were contacted for a test drive?
Me: The Mississauga number refers to a telephone number phoned by the so-called Lucas Bate phone. It was brought up in Day 3 of testimony. It belonged to a Colin B and/or Sharon B in Mississauga.
Hamilton police officer John Tselepakis was asked to look into that and another number in Kitchener. While visiting the person connected to the other number in the 519 area code, he and his partner Paul Hamilton were sent to go check out the hangar. They did not follow up on the Mississauga number at that time.
Some questions from C:
Q: Can the prosecution or defense counsels recall witnesses at a later date to clarify or give additional testimony to their original testimony in court as evidence unfolds and develops in this case?
Q: When Millard’s GF testifies, will the jury be told that she is also charged in connection with the case?
A: Yes, the jury will be told. They already have been told. Here is what the Crown said in its opening statement:
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.
And a reminder: I can only answer your questions about what happened in court in the presence of the jury. If it has not been dealt with in court before the jury, I cannot answer you at this time.
Here’s an example of a question I can’t answer from Arnie:
Q: Do you think the DVR (Digital Video Recorder) found at Ms Noudga’s home was the security recording unit for the whole hangar ?? I do , because there are numerous cameras at the hangar , at least on the outside.
A: I have no idea and, even if I did, I couldn’t tell you because there has been no testimony about the DVR in court yet. The only reference was in the Crown’s opening address, which is not evidence. Prosecutor Craig Fraser said on Monday Feb. 1:
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.
If you want an idea of how the trial will unfold over the next weeks and months, read the Crown’s full opening address, but please be aware, as it says in the statement, it is not evidence but an outline of the case the crown will work to prove.
Both the accused Dellen Millard and Mark Smich are pleading not guilty to first degree murder.
I’ve created a Twitter list if you want to follow the reporters covering the trial in real time. You can also follow my Twitter feed or sign up for my newsletter depending on how you prefer to get your news alerts.
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