Crown asks for review of Justice Antonio Di Zio ruling in Matthew Ward-Jackson case

Update July 19, 2016: The discharge is quashed. Ward-Jackson will appear at the Toronto West courthouse on July 28th, where he will be ordered to stand trial.


 

I’m a little late here, but this is an interesting case that deserves to be followed. The Crown’s move to appeal review came on September 9, almost one month to the day after Justice Di Zio threw out all the charges on August 10. When a case is discharged after a preliminary hearing, it means the judge believes there is no reasonable chance of a conviction at trial.

Those charges were: Possess Prohibited Firearm with Readily Accessible Ammunition, Possess Firearm Without a License and Registration, Possess Firearm Knowing that He Did Not Have a License or Registration, three counts of Possess Prohibited Device, Possess Prohibited Weapon in Breach of Prohibition Order, four counts of Fail to Comply with Recognizance, Possess Cocaine for the Purpose of Trafficking, and Possess Proceeds of Crime.

The firearm in question was a headline-making AK-47.

Unfortunately for Ward-Jackson, despite the discharge from Justice Di Zio, he’s still in the new and newly notorious Toronto South super jail due to another set of charges he faces, allegedly selling guns to Dellen Millard.

There was a prelim for those charges at Old City Hall last month. It was very interesting but remains covered by a publication ban for now. The only thing I’m prepared to tell you is that one of the prosecutors, Jill Cameron, wore red-soled shoes on the first day. Hmm.

If you watch this video closely you’ll see not only the eponymous red shoes but also Joseph Michael Horth aka Spiken Mike taking a ride in a wheel rim. He pleaded guilty to the weapons-related charges back in January, telling the judge at his sentencing that he had found God.

He also testified at the prelim that a guy called John Low had given him the AK-47 as collateral for a small loan and that he had tried to destroy it with a hammer. When that failed he hid it in the crawl space under the house where he was living in Mississauga. Police raided the house and found the gun in January 2014.

Matthew Ward-Jackson is pleading not guilty to all charges against him.

 

Background on Tim Bosma murder trial and the accused: Dellen Millard and Mark Smich

Update: My book, Dark Ambition, went on sale November 8, 2016. It is temporarily sold out at Amazon.ca, but you can buy it at online at Chapters/Indigo and in person at major bookstores and Costco. Dark Ambition tells the story of the Tim Bosma murder investigation and the trial of Dellen Millard and Mark Smich.


Here are what I consider the best background articles related to the Tim Bosma murder trial (scheduled to begin in January 2016) and the accused, Dellen Millard and Mark Smich, who are both pleading not guilty:

Suspect in Tim Bosma’s death was always ‘a little different’ and did ‘odd stuff’ at private school, classmate says From the National Post, an excellent look at Dellen Millard’s background from very early on in the case, when people were more willing to talk. One of the odd things he did was showily eat dog biscuits straight out of the box.

Tim Bosma: The Painful Search for a Missing Man This Toronto Star article is an insider’s look at how Sharlene Bosma and Tim’s friends tried to find him after he went missing. It’s powerful and heartbreaking.

Whoever killed Bosma is abusive, exploitive and a risk-taker: profiler James Van Allen, former head of the OPP’s criminal profiling unit, tells the Hamilton Spectator that Tim Bosma’s killer is someone who is exploitive, abusive, lacks any empathy and is a risk-taker.

Tim Bosma’s murder may have been “thrill kill”: source This Toronto Sun article, which appeared early on in the investigation, has stood the test of time. It provides details, then unknown, on the death of Wayne Millard and Dellen’s alleged purchase of a portable livestock incinerator.

Dellen Millard’s jailhouse interview with the Toronto Star Millard reveals some of the details of his arrest in this exclusive interview with reporter Robert Cribb. He says he didn’t kill Tim Bosma and “they might as well accuse me of having been to the moon.”

The deaths of Laura Babcock and Wayne Millard The Hamilton Spectator reports that homicide detectives believe Dellen Millard bought a gun illegally and used it to murder his father. And that he also murdered Laura Babcock and incinerated her body — just as he allegedly did with Tim Bosma.

The downward spiral of Laura Babcock A really good investigative piece by two Toronto Star reporters, who reveal what went on in the troubled last months of Laura’s life.

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And now, here are my articles on the murders of Tim Bosma, Laura Babcock and Wayne Millard:

Declining Dynasty: How Dellen Millard dismantled the family aviation business Although Dellen never had much interest in Millardair, his father Wayne was determined to revitalize it — until his sudden death.

Toronto Police investigations into Dellen Millard: What went wrong? A year after Millard was arrested for the murder of Tim Bosma, he was charged with the murders of Laura Babcock and his father, Wayne. It raises the question: If Millard had been in custody sooner, would Bosma still be alive?  (Published in the now defunct, Grid)

Dellen Millard case takes a strange turn All about Matthew Ward-Jackson, the aspiring gangsta rapper accused of selling Dellen Millard his alleged murder weapon His active social media adds another layer of mystery to an already bizarre case.

Dellen Millard’s letters from jail The letters reveal a man with a flair for purple prose and expensive taste in clothes — should he wear an Armani or McQueen suit at trial — coping with jailhouse horrors such as a prisoner revolt and fighting to stay optimistic.

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I’m writing a book for Penguin Random House on the murders of Tim Bosma, Laura Babcock and Wayne Millard. If you want to keep up with news of the upcoming Bosma trial and my book, please subscribe to my newsletter:
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Triple threat: Matthew Ward-Jackson, Dellen Millard and Mark Smich at the Jane and Finch courthouse

No Moët and hoes for Matthew Ward-Jackson aka Krucifix14. Bail was denied at a surprising hearing.

No Moët and hoes for Matthew Ward-Jackson aka Krucifix14. No Red Shoes for the rest of us. Bail was denied after a surprise development cut the bail hearing short.

Today I went to the Jane and Finch courthouse for the bail hearing of Matthew Ward-Jackson, charged, among other things, with selling Dellen Millard the gun allegedly used to kill his father, Wayne Millard.

The courthouse is located in the world’s worst strip mall, where the only food source is Swiss Chalet. You can’t get your nails done during the breaks or eat pho for lunch or buy a Somali cell phone, although there is a criminal law office and the court clerk told me about a great Caribbean buffet for $8 at Weston Rd.


Read also: A Day in Court with Matthew Ward-Jackson and his lawyer, Deepak Paradkar


Outside the courtroom, I ran into Ward-Jackson’s friend and occasional rapper, Rissy Riss, who asked me how my book was going. “It’s with my lawyer,” I told him. He nodded sympathetically. Lawyers.

A picture's worth a thousand words

A picture’s worth a thousand words

Riss was with a blonde with a long braid, lots of eyeliner and mukluks. It seemed rude to ask if she was a Gotass Girl so I didn’t, but I think maybe she was. When we entered the courtroom, Riss and the blonde sat in the right back row with three other people who knew Ward-Jackson. In the left back row were the cops including Detective Mike Carbone from the infamous Laura Babcock and Wayne Millard press conference.

I have mixed feelings about that press conference. On the one hand, I feel like Carbone was sent on a suicide mission. He had just been assigned to the case and wasn’t responsible for the initial screw-ups. But, on the other hand, it was such a terrible press conference that I can’t really work up much sympathy for anyone involved.

There were two crown attorneys present because this was a joint bail hearing. Ward-Jackson has drugs and weapons charges stemming from a January drug raid in Mississauga and then the Millard-related weapons charges, which were laid in April. Jason Miller from Guns and Gangs was responsible for the January stuff and Laura Bird, who is in charge of the Laura Babcock and Wayne Millard murder cases, handled the April trafficking charges.

This is a good time to say that Ward-Jackson is pleading not guilty to all the charges against him and none of the allegations have been proven in court. His lawyer is Fariborz Davoudi, who had promised to tell me when the bail hearing was taking place, but didn’t. When he walked into the court and saw me, he was at a momentary loss for words. “Heeeeeeeeeeey,” he said, stalling for time. “You made it.” (Our last in-person meeting was back in June when I had showed him his client’s active social media life.)

The Justice of the Peace David Lippingwell imposed the standard publication ban at the request of the defence so I can’t tell you anything much else about what happened after that. I was the only reporter there.

At the break, Laura Bird and Mike Carbone went next door to see Dellen Millard and Mark Smich make their regular monthly video appearances. Smich looked his usual self, a little on the heavier side, but in decent shape with a buzz cut. Millard looked the worst I’ve ever seen him. He’s constantly changing his facial hair and, this time around, perhaps in Movember mode, he had a fu manchu moustache with the ends dangling down off his chin and greasy, chin-length hair. He’s gone native.

Millard also has a new attorney for the Laura Babcock and Wayne Millard murder charges. He is now being represented by Ravin Pillay, who has replaced Deepak Paradkar on those two cases. Pillay and Paradkar have been working together since early on and still are, but I wasn’t aware of this official change until today.

MIllard is pleading not guilty to both murder charges as well as the murder of Tim Bosma. Smich is also pleading not guilty to the murders of Laura Babcock and Tim Bosma. Millard and the Crown have agreed to an in-chambers judicial pre-trial December 19, but it has to be confirmed with one of Smich’s lawyers. Millard and Smich will both be back November 19 to try and firm up that date.

After the video appearances, we returned to the Matthew Ward-Jackson bail hearing, which for reasons I cannot report, was cut suddenly short. Bail was denied.

It was all very surprising, but who doesn’t like to get Friday afternoon off?

A day in court with Matthew Ward-Jackson and his lawyer, Deepak Paradkar

Do you see the man with the blacked-out eye in the top righthand corner?

Matthew Ward-Jackson’s head tattoos include a man with a blacked-out eye. Wayne Millard was reportedly shot in the eye.

It’s Friday September 12th at Toronto’s Old City Hall courthouse. I’ve come to see Matthew Ward-Jackson aka Krucifix14 aka Big Iisho, who currently has three sets of charges pending against him, including having supplied Dellen Millard with the gun he allegedly used to kill his father Wayne. That’s the case I’m really interested in but it’s not the one on the dockets today. This session is about an earlier drug possession and intent-to-traffic case. (Ward-Jackson is pleading not guilty to all three sets of charges against him.)

Things were supposed to get underway at 10 a.m. but, because many judges operate in a parallel time universe, at 10:30 we were still all sitting around waiting for her honour to arrive. There was the accused, Matthew Ward-Jackson; the co-accused; the co-accused’s mother; the two defence lawyers, making (minimum) $300 an hour small talk; the wife and paralegal of one of the defence lawyers; the Crown; the court clerk; the court reporter; me; and the Toronto police constable guarding the prisoner and fixing her wonky chair.

When the door finally opened, we were all expecting the judge, but no, not yet. Instead it was a 50-something down-on-his-luck looking guy with long thinning brown hair, a leather Harley Davidson jacket, torn jeans, and some very well worn cowboy boots.

“Hey MJ,” he said to Ward-Jackson in the prisoner’s box.”How’re you doing? I put some money in the canteen for you. It’s only 20 bucks.”

“Thanks for coming,” Ward Jackson replied graciously. It was the second occasion I’ve seen him in person and he’s lost weight over the past two months. He’s also better dressed than he was last time, wearing what looks like a brand new Roots Maple Leafs jacket, a blue plaid shirt, dark wash jeans and navy sneaker-type shoes, all fresh and clean. He has enough hair growth on his shaven head that I can’t clearly make out the tattoos underneath, including the one I’d really like to see of the man with his eye blacked out.

MJ’s buddy sits down next to me while the police constable guarding the prisoner gives him the once over. “I know you,” she says. “You’re Butch. We went to high school together.”

Butch does a double take. “You’re the boxer,” he says. “You still box?”

Their conversation gets cut short as the judge finally makes her entrance. Apologetically, she tells us all she’d like to take care of the other case on her agenda, a brief sentencing, before hearing the further evidence in the Ward-Jackson case.   She says it will take half an hour so we all clear out of the courtroom. By now, it’s almost 11.

I ask Butch if he has time to talk. And he tells me I can join him for his smoke break. On the courthouse steps, he explains that he was Ward-Jackson’s cellmate at the Toronto South Detention Center from the Canada Day long weekend until a few days ago when he was released. He was there for violating probation for an assault charge. He’d run into his lawyer in the courthouse halls earlier and she’d asked him what in hell he was doing here. Just showing support for a friend, he had explained much to her relief.

I told Butch I was interested in Ward-Jackson because of the gun trafficking charges related to the Millard case. “Whaaat?” he asked “Who?” I gave him a primer on Tim Bosma, Wayne Millard, Laura Babcock, etc. Butch only knew the vaguest of outlines. He said that prisoners don’t talk to each other about stuff like that.

He also emphasized that Matthew was a good guy, not dumb, and not guilty. That’s why he’d come to court to support him.

“At the very least he did some dumb things,” I suggested.

“Who hasn’t?” said Butch. “That’s why pencils have erasers.”

I kind of liked Butch. If you’ve got to have a cellmate, he seemed like just about the best you could have. Putting $20 in the canteen for MJ was a generous move.

We headed back inside and up to the courtroom where I spotted some familiar faces. There was a young blonde woman who looked like one of the Gotass Girls from Big Iisho’s various videos. And the guy with her was definitely Blanco Oro, a rapper and music producer.

“You’re Blanco Oro, right?” I said as I introduced myself. He looked simultaneously worried and disappointed. No doubt when he’d imagined people recognizing him from his videos, it was young fangirls not nosy reporters old enough to be his mother.

Like Butch, Blanco said he knew nothing Millard-related. He just wanted to see Matthew — who he described as an “up and coming artist” — get back to making music. I gave him my business card and a high five and sat down to wait for the judge. The sentencing was taking way longer than half an hour.

Butch was now talking to Blanco who had taken him aside to show him something on his phone. I assume it was my National Post article on Matthew Ward-Jackson and his ties to the Millard case because after that Butch stopped speaking to me. At noon when we eventually filed back in to the court room, no one wanted to sit beside me. Given that the kickboxing police woman was now chatting and joking with Ward-Jackson as she escorted him in and out, I felt it was unjust that I was the most feared and unpopular person in the room.

According to the dockets, we were there for a further evidence session, which began with the crown summing up the evidence against the accused. In a nutshell, some $50,000 worth of cocaine and $13,000 in in cash had been found in an apartment allegedly occupied by Ward-Jackson and his co-accused, who was his ex-GF. In my laywoman’s opinion, the crown made some good points but it was hardly an airtight case.

I was especially puzzled by the crown’s reference to marijuana supposedly found in the apartment between the mattresses.The crown said veteran drug squad officers recognized it as marijuana and not, for example, oregano, which would have been in the kitchen not the bedroom.

WTF?! I thought. This all seems very vague. Why didn’t they just test it? You don’t need to be CSI to tell oregano from marijuana. As it turned out, this was a subject the defence would later address although not the oregano angle.

Ward-Jackson’s lawyer for these charges is Deepak Paradkar, who is also Dellen Millard’s lawyer, defending him against all three charges of first degree murder. Along with wanting to talk to people who knew Ward-Jackson, Paradkar was the other reason I’d come to court. I wanted to see him in action.

As the crown wrapped up and we were about to break for lunch, he asked the judge if he could have two minutes. One of the points he raised was the marijuana issue. “If these officers are so veteran, why didn’t they seize it and inventory it?” he asked. “I have serious concerns.”

After lunch, both Paradkar and the co-accused’s lawyer made their case for a directed verdict. Paradkar is an impressive and forceful speaker, with a sarcastic streak when it comes to the cops. He was out to show the crown needed more proof his client had lived in the apartment where the cocaine was found. “Where is the lease, cable records, Bell records?” he asked. “Police college 101.”

“My friend,” he said, referring to the Crown, “emphasized that these were veteran officers, but that can be to their detriment.” Paradkar went on to cite a kidnapping case where 25-year veterans hadn’t followed the basic rules of evidence collection or performed what should be standard due diligence.

Amused, at one point, by his turn of phrase, I LOLled, which caused Butch to turn around and give me the stink eye. I wanted to explain I wasn’t laughing at his friend’s lawyer, I was laughing with him. But it was too late. I’d lost Butch.

As court wrapped up, Ward-Jackson thanked the judge for everything including her order that he receive a meal. Is he flirting with her? I wondered. Earlier, he’d called out cheekily to his co-accused as she walked by the prisoner’s box, plus there was all that chitchat with the kickboxing constable. Ward-Jackson appeared to think — not necessarily incorrectly — that he had a way with the ladies. Or maybe he was just genuinely grateful to be getting a non-prison meal. Butch had told me earlier that the food at Toronto South sucked and, as the old joke goes, there wasn’t enough of it.

The judge’s ruling is scheduled to be delivered on October 29 at 10 a.m. Ontario standard judge time. I promise to let you know what happens.

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Bail decision for Christina Noudga on Friday August 8

Update: Bail was granted on Friday August 8 and set at $100,000. Noudga is under house arrest and must wear an electronic monitoring bracelet. She can leave her parents’ Etobicoke home to go to school or work. Otherwise, she can only go out in the company of her mother or father, who are acting as her sureties.


Although I missed the first morning, I attended all three days of the Christina Noudga bail hearing held last week at Hamilton’s John Sopinka courthouse.  A standard publication ban prevents me and all the other journalists in attendance from reporting on the evidence disclosed in the courtroom as well as some other details related to the hearing.

Given these strict limitations, things like Noudga’s outfit got a seemingly inordinate amount of coverage. For the record and on the off chance you haven’t read this already, she wore a white fitted, sleeveless blouse with black collar, skinny black jeans, brown ankle boots and shackles. She doesn’t look nearly as good in person as does in the ubiquitous internet photos of her, but four months in jail likely haven’t done much for her appearance.

Christina Noudga with Dellen Millard

Noudga’s former Facebook profile photo was an interesting choice. It showed her boyfriend Millard’s face but not hers.

Noudga’s family and friends showed up to support the accused, who marked her 22nd birthday in jail, and is pleading not guilty to acting as an accessory after the fact in the murder of Tim Bosma. Noudga began dating Millard in 2011 shortly after he broke off his engagement to another Toronto woman.

She appeared confident and in control throughout the hearing and did not shy away from looking around the courtroom. (Noudga was arrested on April 10th of this year almost a year after charges of first degree murder were laid against her boyfriend, Dellen Millard, and his buddy, Mark Smich in the death of Tim Bosma.)

Also in the courtroom were Detective Sergeant Matt Kavanagh of the Hamilton police homicide unit, who headed up the investigation into Tim Bosma’s murder. He was almost always seated with one to three other police officers at the back of the room.

Ravin Pillay, part of the legal team defending Dellen Millard, attended all three days of the hearing, usually in the company of one or two young lawyers or law students.

Tim Bosma’s father Hank was present on the first day but did not return for days two and three. Tim’s widow Sharlene did not attend at the request of the crown. Bosma family friends were present on all three days along with representatives from victim services.

Justice Thomas Lofchik’s ruling on whether or not to grant bail will come down next Friday August 8th at 10 a.m.

Direct indictment in Tim Bosma case: What happens next?

I was in Hamilton court last Friday to see the accused, Dellen Millard and Mark Smich, make their first video appearances since the Attorney General approved a direct indictment for the Tim Bosma murder trial. Millard’s appearance was sort of interesting because he was on camera for quite a bit longer than usual although I didn’t get as good a look at him as I usually do in Toronto court due to the fact the video screen was at about a 75 degree angle to me.

Sometimes at these sessions, where prisoner after prisoner comes up for a quick case update, I’m surprised by how polite everyone is. “Yes Your Honour.” “No Your Worship.” “Thank you very much.” One time I was sitting with a TV producer who’s spent decades covering courts and crime. He turned to me and said wistfully: “If only they could be this polite before they’re in prison.”

But I digress. My point was that in Hamilton on Friday, a few of the prisoners were really, unusually rude so Millard looked polite in comparison. He went out of his way to call the Judge, “Your Worship,” which was a mistake as a judge is “Your Honour” and a justice of the peace is “Your Worship.” Still, the point is he was trying to come across as he knew you should. Smich, in contrast, was monosyllabic and dispensed with the honourifics altogether.

After Justice James Turnbull told Millard that the 515 order, preventing him from communicating with a list of potential witnesses, was still in effect, he added that he could speak to his counsel if he had further questions. “I will do that,” Millard replied with an air of authority. Then, when he was told his appearance was over, he said, “Good day.”

I’ve noticed Millard has a tendency to use anachronistic expressions — good day instead of goodbye, for example — which I suspect is his way of trying to sound erudite. Both he and his lawyer seem to be pushing the educated intellectual story line. From the very beginning, Deepak Paradkar has described his client as “a bit of a philosopher.”

Millard told the Toronto Star he was reading not John Grisham but the 19th century classic, On War by Carl von Clausewitz. In that same interview, he also said that he had dropped out of Toronto French School before getting his high school diploma because “there were only a couple of teachers I found interesting,” which is, in my opinion, another way of saying he was too smart for those losers.

For someone who’s spent a lot of the past year in solitary confinement, Millard sounded much more chipper Friday than the last few times I’ve seen him via video in Toronto courts, where he looked terrible. Both Millard and Smich have pleaded not guilty.

Outside the court room, before the session, the Bosma family gathered, laughing and smiling. It might sound incongruous if you weren’t there, but it wasn’t. They were simply happy that the direct indictment had been granted earlier that week and, as always, they were there to represent the family member taken from them and to make their presence felt.

Tim’s widow, Sharlene, joined them later in the court room, watching both the accused from the corner of her eye. No one in the family talked to the press.

 

A judicial pre-trial date was set for September 9 and a video remand date for September 19. The judge said he hoped by then, counsel would be able to set dates for pre-trial motions and, possibly, the trial itself.

The court sessions scheduled for August 7 for Millard and Smich have been cancelled although Millard’s girlfriend Christina Noudga, who has been charged as an accessory to murder after the fact, is still set to show up via video on that day. She remains in jail and has not yet applied for bail.

The direct indictment does away with the preliminary hearing so in theory it should speed things up, but in practice that’s not necessarily the case. Pre-trial motions could slow everything down to a crawl. We’ll have to wait until September to get a better idea of which way things are going to go.

Meanwhile in Toronto, proceedings continue in the Laura Babcock and Wayne Millard murder cases. Both Millard and Smich are charged with killing Laura Babcock while Millard is also charged with the murder of his father, Wayne. The accused have pleaded not guilty to all charges. They will appear again by video on August 11.

Dellen Millard in court today on charges he murdered his father

Dellen Millard will make a brief procedural appearance by video in Toronto court today to speak to the charges that he murdered his father, Wayne.  There’s unlikely to be any real news, maybe just a tidbit or two about whether the Crown has yet provided any disclosure.

Last time, I was at court for this and the Laura Babcock murder charges, the defence attorneys were grumbling politely that they were still completely in the dark about what the evidence for the new charges was.

Millard and his co-accused have pleaded not guilty to all the first degree murder charges against them. Both are charged with killing Tim Bosma and Laura Babcock while Millard alone is charged with murdering his father. Millard’s girlfriend Christina Noudga is also charged as an accessory after the fact in the Bosma murder. She too has pleaded not guilty.

Last week, Matthew Ward-Jackson, one of three men accused of weapons trafficking and believed to have provided Millard with the gun used to kill his father, appeared in Toronto court by video on two sets of charges. This appearance allowed me to confirm his ID and tie him to his active social media accounts. Ward-Jackson will be back in court next week in person.

On Thursday of this week, MIllard, Smich and Noudga will all make procedural appearances in Hamilton court. Noudga has still not applied for bail and it will be interesting to see if her lawyers will reveal any new information about her intent. She’s now been in jail for more than two months.

Update: I did not attend this court appearance and it doesn’t look like any other reporters showed up. Dellen Millard will return to deal with the Wayne Millard charge by video on July 7. Both he and Smich will also appear on the Laura Babcock murder charge on the same day.

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Matthew Ward-Jackson: Believed to have sold Dellen Millard the gun used to kill his father, Wayne Millard

Matthew Ward-Jackson

Matthew Ward-Jackson, not as he appeared in Toronto court via video earlier today

Full story tomorrow. Here’s some background in the meantime.

Update June 10: My story is now up at the National Post. The first two paragraphs are below and here’s another photo of Matthew Ward-Jackson.

Do you see the man with the blacked-out eye in the top righthand corner?

Do you see the man with the blacked-out eye in the top lefthand corner?

The active social media life of a man believed to have sold a gun to accused triple murderer Dellen Millard has added another layer of mystery to what was already a bizarre case.

Matthew Ward-Jackson, charged with weapons trafficking in April, has almost no web presence  under his own name. Instead, the 27-year old with a tattooed face and body uses  the online aliases @Krucifix14, Krucifix North and @BIGiisho to document his life as an aspiring gangsta-style rapper. Instagram photos, YouTube videos and Facebook posts show him pouring champagne over women’s thong-clad backsides, literally throwing money around, driving classic cars and, more incongruously, taking bubble baths in a heart-shaped red tub.

Read the whole thing at the Post.

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Murder or suicide: The investigation into the death of Wayne Millard

The Toronto Star had a great article yesterday on the disappearance and death of Laura Babcock, and how the police conducted or failed to conduct their initial investigations. The case was handled by 22 Division, which also looked into the sudden death of Wayne Millard, another investigation which, in my opinion, raises serious questions and which I wrote about in April. That death in November 2012 was originally deemed a suicide, but some of the new facts that have come to light make it hard to understand just how this could have happened and why Wayne Millard’s body was released for cremation so quickly. Let me elaborate:

  1. The Toronto Sun reported more than a year ago that Wayne Millard was shot in the eye. This is, to say the least, unusual. (And given that this info. was leaked to the Sun by a police officer, it would seem to indicate that someone in the force wasn’t happy with the initial investigation.)
  2. Wayne Millard is alleged to have been killed with a trafficked gun. This info. was originally reported by the Hamilton Spectator and then backed up further by a report in the Toronto Star. How on earth did the original investigators miss this?
  3. A source who was on the scene at the Millard family home the night police investigated the death, said that those present included Dellen Millard, his mother and Wayne’s ex-wife, Madeleine Burns, and Dellen Millard’s ex-fiancee, who cannot be named due to a publication ban. As far as I can tell, these are the only people police initially questioned about Wayne Millard’s death. They did not talk to anyone at the multi-million dollar business he had just launched nor do they appear to have spoken to others with whom Wayne Millard had regular, even daily, dealings.
  4. Mark Smich had been living in the basement of the Etobicoke house Wayne and Dellen shared before Wayne’s death. It’s not clear whether police were aware of this or talked to Smich.
  5. Wayne’s family members were not told the cause of his death. A cousin and his aunt were not even notified he had died.

As much as there are many unanswered questions about the investigation into Laura Babcock’s disappearance, there are also questions about the Wayne Millard death, which need to be answered as well.

Dellen Millard, who has been charged with his father’s death, is pleading not guilty and none of the charges against him have been proven in court.

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