Farewell Christina Noudga, who’s taken a plea deal, will work for human rights

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Dellen Millard with his ex-girlfriend Christina Noudga.”I deserve you and you deserve me,” he wrote to her in a letter from jail.

Goodbye and good riddance to Christina Noudga.

When Dellen Millard’s unpopular ex-girlfriend left a Hamilton courtroom Tuesday, after accepting a plea deal and pleading guilty to obstruction of justice, there was, more than anything, an overwhelming sense of relief.

The deal meant there would be no more Noudga. No recounting of what Crown attorney Craig Fraser described as “the horrific and soul destroying details of Tim Bosma’s murder.” No three-week-long trial to determine if Noudga should be found guilty as an accessory after the fact to the murder of Tim Bosma.

Instead, Noudga, whose trial would have begun this week, pled guilty to the lesser charge of obstructing the course of justice by destroying evidence. The deal meant Tim Bosma’s family would finally be able to end their painful involvement with the criminal justice system. “They believe Ms. Noudga is being held to account for her actions,” Fraser told the court. “The public interest…truly is best served by sparing the Bosma family another trial while still holding Ms. Noudga accountable for the role she played in destroying evidence.”

Christina Noudga, dressed in dark blue and black, dabbed at her eyes before the hour-long proceedings, began and as they ended. Although it was impossible to tell if she was wiping away tears, her attitude was markedly changed from the Bosma murder trial where she shocked the court time and again with her lack of empathy and failure to display any remorse. Smart, pretty and ambitious, she managed to leave even hardened homicide cops and veteran criminal lawyers shaking their heads in disbelief. After the trial, Tim Bosma’s mother Mary would describe her as “evil.”

During her week on the witness stand, Noudga laughed in court as if oblivious to the fact she was testifying at a murder trial in front of the victim’s parents, sisters and widow. She said she remembered little or nothing of many of the key events about which she had been called to testify. She appeared to have no sense whatsoever of right or wrong. Respect was a foreign concept.

In one of the trial’s most memorable moments, a letter Millard had written to Noudga from  jail was shown on the courtroom screens. “I believe we deserve each other,” Millard wrote. “I deserve you, and you deserve me.”

“That’s what he wrote to you?” asked Thomas Dungey, the lawyer for Millard’s co-accused, Mark Smich.

“Yes,”replied Noudga.

“Thank you,” said Dungey, “no further questions.” It was the last time Noudga had exited the Hamilton courthouse in the glare of the media.

This week, her lawyer Brian Greenspan said his client can change. She was just 18 when she met Millard and 21 at the time of the events in question. She has since graduated from university and plans to go to graduate school in health sciences. She has a job waiting for her once her legal issues are settled. And she’s doing grass roots work for indigenous peoples in Honduras. She’s joined Amnesty International.

The old days of Christina posting YouTube videos of herself cursing Ecuadorean immigrants and condescending to entire courtrooms are over. She’s rebranding as a human rights advocate and, though this was not mentioned in court, an artsy Instagram party girl.

Greenspan says Noudga accepts responsibility for those actions she engaged in — destroying evidence by wiping away fingerprints — but not for those conducted without her knowledge, by which he means the murder of Tim Bosma.

This question of what exactly Christina Noudga did or didn’t know about that murder would have been at the heart of her accessory after the fact trial had it taken place. To prove her guilty, the Crown would have had to have shown that she knew her boyfriend had murdered an innocent man when she went with Millard to hide the trailer containing Bosma’s truck and to move the incinerator used to cremate the victim’s remains.

Fraser said the prosecution was in a “strong position” but that its case was circumstantial and “inferences would have to go the Crown’s way.” He said there was no direct evidence of Noudga having knowledge of the murder.

What he most definitely did not express, however, is what Greenspan later told the Canadian Press — that it is “clear and accepted by everyone…  that (Noudga) was totally unaware that a homicide had taken place.”

Whether or not Noudga knew or didn’t know is a topic on which there will likely continue to be disagreement along with the question of whether justice was done. But to the people in the courtroom, the plea deal was the right choice. And its rightness was only reinforced when Justice Toni Skarica announced that he would have found there to be “insufficient evidence that would prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the accused knew about the murder that had just occurred.”

It was a surprising declaration from the judge and a reminder of why plea deals so often make sense for both parties. For better or for worse, they take the unknowns and the uncertainties out of the mix.

In exchange for time already served in jail, a sample of her DNA, and a criminal record, Christina Noudga was free to go. And the Bosmas, the police and prosecutors were free to never spend another minute in her presence. That was worth a lot to everyone involved.


You can read the full story of Christina Noudga’s testimony at the Tim Bosma murder trial, and all about the jailhouse letters she received from Millard in the book, Dark Ambition: The Shocking Crime of Dellen Millard and Mark Smich.

Dark Ambition is for sale online at McNally Robinson, Chapters/Indigo, Amazon.ca and Amazon.com. Or you can pick it up in your local indie bookstore, Chapters, Indigo, Coles — and at Costco.

Dark Ambition chronicles the Tim Bosma murder investigation and trial

screen-shot-2016-09-16-at-2-37-55-pmDark Ambition: The Shocking Crime of Dellen Millard and Mark Smich went on sale November 8. (Yes, that day.) In between the wall-to-wall Trump election coverage, I did a number of radio and TV interviews about the book, two of which have been posted online.

If you’re curious, my talk with John Gormley can be found here, the last item on the November 9th list. I also spoke to Scott Radley of CHML in Hamilton, who wondered what more there was for the public to know about the Tim Bosma case after the very extensive trial coverage. You can hear my response by going the station’s audio vault and filling in the date (Nov. 9) and time (7:00 p.m.) of the interview and then fast forwarding to 7:42 p.m.

Radley is not the first person to ask me if they will learn something new from the book. Here’s what some readers said:

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Comments like this are extremely gratifying. One of my goals with this book was to take people inside the courtroom and help them understand in detail what it’s like for the police to investigate a murder, and then for the prosecutors to bring the case to trial. Another thing I try to do is give readers a feel for how this tragic and extremely high-profile murder  was discussed in social media and occupied armchair detectives at sites like Websleuths, which not everyone is familiar with.

You can buy Dark Ambition in most bookstores and order it online at Chapters/Indigo and Amazon although the hardcover version is temporarily out of stock until Nov. 17th at Amazon Canada. A few copies are still available at Amazon.com.

I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have about the book in the comments section. Or you could come out and talk to me in person at a special literary evening on Thursday November 17th in Burlington. Writers Stephen Brunt and Brent van Staalduinen will also be there discussing their new books. There’s a $20 admission fee with all proceeds to the East Plains United Church.

Photos from Christina Noudga bedroom search

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Christina Noudga’s parents’ house in Etobicoke: Hamilton Police went in with a warrant on April 10, 2014

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Police found a DVR listed on their search warrant in the closet of Christina Noudga’s bedroom

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The DVR from Christina Noudga’s closet (police exhibit 7015) was turned over to the forensics officer on the scene

These photos were introduced as evidence on Feb. 23, 2016 at the trial of Dellen Millard and Mark Smich for the murder of Tim Bosma.

Noudga was the girlfriend of Dellen Millard, and the Crown said in its opening address that she will testify at this trial.

She is charged as an accessory after the fact to Bosma’s murder.

In his opening address, which is not evidence, but the case the Crown intends to prove, assistant Crown Attorney Craig Fraser said:

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.

Dellen Millard, Mark Smich and Christina Noudga are all pleading not guilty. Noudga’s trial is set to take place late this year.

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.

Will Christina Noudga — charged as an accessory in the Tim Bosma murder — get bail?

July 17 Update: Christina Noudga is still in custody at the Vanier Centre for Women in Milton. She will be tried separately from Dellen Millard and Mark Smich.


Christina Noudga was arrested and charged as an accessory after the fact for the murder of Tim Bosma on April 10th. Over the past week, a few people have asked me why — more than a month later — she hasn’t yet had a bail hearing.

The short answer is because, as of her last court appearance on May 5th, Noudga’s lawyer Paul Mergler hadn’t requested a bail hearing. That, of course leads to the next question, which is why? To which the short answer is because he doesn’t want to lose and needs time to prepare given that the crown has said that it will likely contest a bail application.

Accessory to murder is a serious charge carrying a maximum penalty of life imprisonment although a common sentence is in the five-year range. If Noudga, the girlfriend of Dellen Millard, were to be denied bail (as happened in this case), she could be stuck in jail until her trial (assuming she does not change her not guilty plea), which could be years away. Bail rulings are notoriously difficult to have overturned.

Based on the evidence against her, Noudga’s lawyer will decide whether to apply for bail. At her last court appearance he said he had just received “voluminous disclosure.” When she appears in court in Hamilton this Thursday via video, we might find out more about whether or not there’s going to be a bail application and when.

Noudga, a Toronto university student, turned 22 on April 26th.