Dellen Millard and Mark Smich

Dellen Millard (born August 30, 1985) and Mark Smich (born August 13, 1987) are two Canadian convicted murderers from Toronto, Ontario, who together murdered Laura Babcock and Tim Bosma in separate killings in July 2012 and May 2013 respectively. They were both convicted of the murders in December 2017 and June 2016, respectively.[1] Millard has also been convicted individually of first-degree murder for the 2012 death of his father, Wayne Millard, which was initially deemed a suicide but was later reinvestigated. The guilty verdict for that charge was delivered on September 24, 2018.[2]

Dellen Millard and Mark Smich
Dellen Millard
(1985-08-30) August 30, 1985 (age 38)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Mark Smich
(1987-08-13) August 13, 1987 (age 36)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Conviction(s)First-degree murder
Criminal penalty25 years to life imprisonment (Millard), 25 years to life imprisonment (Smich)
Victims3 (Millard), 2 (Smich)
Span of crimes
c. July 2012 – May 6, 2013
Date apprehended
May 11, 2013 (Millard), May 22, 2013 (Smich)

Background edit

Dellen Millard edit

Dellen Millard was born on August 30, 1985, to Wayne Millard and Madeleine Burns.[3] Wayne was a pilot who had worked at both Air Canada and Millardair, an aviation firm founded by his father, Carl.[3][4] Burns was a flight attendant at Air Canada when they met.[4] Millard grew up in Toronto, Ontario, the only child of his wealthy parents.[5][6] In 1999, at age 14, Millard set a world record for the youngest person to fly both a helicopter and a fixed-wing plane solo on the same day.[7]

Millard owned several properties in the Toronto area, including a $1.2 million home in Etobicoke, a $500,000 condominium in an unspecified location, a $2 million residential rental property, and a $850,000 hundred-acre farm in Ayr.[8] In May 2013, he finalised the purchase of a $627,000 condo in Toronto's Distillery District.[3]

Mark Smich edit

Smich was born on August 13, 1987.[9] Unlike Millard's parents, Smich's parents were middle-class.[10] He had a criminal record involving petty offences such as drug possession, driving impaired, mischief, failure to appear, and breach of conditions.[11] Smich sold drugs and cigarettes for a living and occasionally worked odd jobs in Millard's hangar.[11][12]

Millard and Smich's relationship edit

Millard and Smich were introduced around 2006. Friends described their friendship as initially one-sided: "Mark worshipped Dell, but Dell hated him".[13] By 2011, they had grown closer, and in 2012 Smich and his girlfriend Marlena Meneses moved into the basement suite of the Millard family house.[13] Around the same time, Millard began to arrange for Smich and other friends to accompany him on what he termed "missions": night-time excursions to steal items such as Bobcat construction equipment, lawnmowers, and even trees.[14] A friend later described these "missions" as being strictly "for the thrill of it", as Millard had more than enough money to have purchased such things if he had wanted to.[15]

Murder of Tim Bosma edit

The night of the murder edit

32-year-old Tim Bosma was a Canadian citizen from Ancaster, a small community within the city of Hamilton, Ontario.[16] Bosma had not previously known Millard or Smich.[17] The pair contacted Bosma by phone to arrange a test drive of a pickup truck he had been selling online on Kijiji.[18] Millard and Smich arrived on foot for the test drive just after 9:20 pm on May 6, 2013,[19] telling Bosma's wife Sharlene they had been dropped off by a friend. Bosma told his wife he would be right back, but none of the three men returned.[20] After several hours, Sharlene contacted police to report her husband missing.[20]

During the test drive, Bosma was shot and killed. It is unclear whether it was Smich or Millard who ultimately pulled the trigger.[21] Bosma's body was incinerated that night at the Millard hangar.[22]

Investigation edit

The Hamilton Police Service treated the Bosma case as "a missing persons investigation with unusual circumstances".[23] They conducted a ground search of the area around Bosma's home with the assistance of a canine unit and local search and rescue, and held a press briefing on May 7.[24][23] Police quickly discovered that the phone used to contact Bosma had been a burner phone.[25] On May 9, Bosma's deactivated cell phone was found in an industrial area on the west side of nearby Brantford.[26]

Using the call records from the burner phone, police discovered that the men had arranged two other test drives in similar vehicles in the days preceding Bosma's murder. The two failed to arrive on time for the first, so it never occurred.[27] The pair took the second vehicle on a test drive in Toronto on May 5.[28] The men from that test drive matched the descriptions of the pair who had left with Bosma. One of the men carried a small satchel bag and had a tattoo on his wrist of the word "ambition" inside a box, a detail the police released to the public hoping for an identification.[28][29]

On May 10, police from Peel and Toronto advised the Hamilton police about a Toronto man named Dellen Millard, who was known to carry a satchel bag and had an "ambition" tattoo on his wrist.[30] On May 11, Dellen Millard was arrested.[31] On May 12, Bosma's truck was found inside a trailer in the driveway of Millard's mother's home. The trailer was registered to Millardair.[32]

Police publicly confirmed that Bosma was deceased on May 14.[33] Burned remains believed to be Bosma's had been located inside the incinerator, which had been found at Millard's farm in Ayr.[34]

Following approximately a week of surveillance, Smich was arrested on May 22.[35]

Trial edit

At trial, Smich, Millard, and the Crown all presented different theories of what happened on the night of Bosma's murder. Smich and Millard each attempted to blame the other for the shooting.[36]

Smich contended that he was actually in a separate vehicle following behind Bosma and Millard, testifying that Millard shot Bosma while they were together in Bosma's truck.[21] Millard's lawyer, Nadir Sachak, argued that all three men were in Bosma's vehicle, with Millard driving, Bosma in the front passenger seat, and Smich in the back seat behind him. According to this version, during the ride, Smich pulled out a gun and told Bosma they intended to steal the vehicle. A struggle ensued and Bosma was shot by accident.[36] Millard did not testify during the trial, but has repeated this version of events in interviews since.[21] Smich strongly denied this version of events at trial.[37]

The Crown contended that both Smich and Millard were in the vehicle and participated in the killing.[38] The Crown never definitively proved which of the men fired the gun. As long as both had participated in the planning and execution of the crime, both could be charged with first-degree murder regardless of who actually pulled the trigger.[21] On June 17, 2016, the two men were convicted of first-degree murder in Bosma's killing and were sentenced to life imprisonment, with no parole eligibility for 25 years.[38][39]

Murder of Laura Babcock edit

In December 2017, Millard and Smich were convicted of the murder of Laura Babcock, who was last seen alive in July 2012. Her remains have never been recovered. Millard and Smich were again sentenced to life in prison, with the parole ineligibility period of 25 years to be served consecutively with that of the previous sentence, meaning they are to serve a minimum of 50 years and will not be released prior to 2063.[1]

Murder of Wayne Millard edit

On November 29, 2012, Millard's father, Wayne Millard, was found dead with a gunshot through the left eye. His death was initially ruled as a suicide.[40] It was later discovered that father and son had disagreements over the family business.[41] After the murders of Bosma and Babcock, police reviewed Wayne Milliard's death, and Dellen was charged individually with his murder.[42]

Trial edit

During this trial by judge alone, which started in June 2018, Millard did not testify; his lawyer insisted that his father's death was by suicide and that the Crown did not prove any motive. Evidence presented by the Crown included the fact that Millard had purchased the gun which had killed his father, and the fact that Millard's cell phone had been at his father's home around 1:00 a.m. that night, where it stayed until shortly after 6:00 a.m.[42]

On September 24, 2018, Millard was found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of his father Wayne Millard. The 90-minute reading of Justice Maureen Forestell's finding included this statement: "I am satisfied that Dellen Millard killed his father by shooting him in the left eye as he slept. I can find no theory consistent with innocence".[2][43] On December 18, 2018, Millard was sentenced to life in prison for a third time, again with no parole eligibility for 25 years. The latest sentence was to be served consecutively along with the other life sentences handed down in the Bosma and Babcock murders. This meant Millard would be required to serve a minimum of 75 years before becoming eligible for parole, first able to apply in the year 2088 at age 103.[44] However, a 2022 ruling of the Supreme Court changed that, as explained below.

Conviction of Matthew Ward-Jackson edit

On 12 January 2018, Matthew Ward-Jackson (born 1987), an acquaintance of Millard, was sentenced to eleven years of imprisonment after pleading guilty to nine charges relating to gun possession and trafficking. Among the charges were the sale of a .32 calibre Smith & Wesson revolver to Millard that he used to kill his father and the sale of a Walther PPK that was used in the murder of Bosma. As Ward-Jackson was already incarcerated for a different conviction at the time of the new sentence, credits were applied to his sentence and his final additional sentence was three years, seven months and two weeks.[45]

Aftermath and appeals edit

In 2021, Millard was involved in a fight at Millhaven Institution, in which he restrained a man while another inmate stabbed him. The victim survived, and Millard and the other man were charged with assault causing bodily harm and weapons possession. His co-accused pled guilty, but Millard pled not guilty. His weapons charge was dropped for lack of evidence, but he was convicted of the assault charge in March 2023.[46]

Millard and Smich have appealed their convictions for the murders of Tim Bosma and Laura Babcock. As of March 17, 2023, this appeal remains pending.[47] Millard separately appealed his conviction for the murder of his father; the appeal was rejected in March 2023, with the higher court affirming the conviction was correct.[47] Their appeals of the convictions for the Babcock and Bosma murders were rejected in June 2023. Smich's lawyer said he intended to request leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.[48]

The Supreme Court of Canada's 2022 R. v. Bissonnette decision struck down consecutive parole ineligibility periods as unconstitutional.[49]: ¶3  Millard and Smich's respective 75- and 50-year ineligibility periods have been reduced to no more than 25 years of parole ineligibility. They will be eligible for parole in 2043.[47]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Jury finds Millard and Smich guilty of first-degree murder in death of Laura Babcock". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
  2. ^ a b Casey, Liam (24 September 2018). "Judge finds Dellen Millard guilty of first-degree murder in death of father". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Suspect in Tim Bosma's death was always 'a little different' and did 'odd stuff' at private school, classmate says". National Post. 2013-05-17. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
  4. ^ a b Brocklehurst 2016, p. 47.
  5. ^ Mandel, Michele (2018-06-02). "Mandel: Dellen Millard allegedly emotionless after discovering dead father in bedroom". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
  6. ^ Levinson-King, Robin (2017-12-21). "Dellen Millard: Fun-loving heir whose killings stunned Canada". BBC News. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
  7. ^ News; Canada (2013-05-17). "Dellen Millard was always 'a little different,' former classmate says | National Post". Retrieved 2019-08-16. {{cite web}}: |last1= has generic name (help)
  8. ^ Brocklehurst 2016, p. 44.
  9. ^ Brocklehurst 2016, p. 85.
  10. ^ Brocklehurst 2016, p. 91.
  11. ^ a b Brocklehurst 2016, p. 90.
  12. ^ Brocklehurst 2016, p. 239.
  13. ^ a b Brocklehurst 2016, p. 92.
  14. ^ Brocklehurst 2016, pp. 179–180.
  15. ^ Brocklehurst 2016, pp. 196.
  16. ^ "Did police miss chances to investigate Dellen Millard before he killed Tim Bosma? | CBC News". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
  17. ^ Brocklehurst 2016, p. 58.
  18. ^ Brocklehurst 2016, p. xviii.
  19. ^ Brocklehurst 2016, p. 5.
  20. ^ a b Brocklehurst 2016, p. 2.
  21. ^ a b c d Humphreys, Adrian (2018-11-16). "In jailhouse interview, Dellen Millard admits for first time he had a part in Tim Bosma's murder | National Post". The National Post. Retrieved 2019-02-13.
  22. ^ "Mark Smich tells court co-accused Dellen Millard shot Tim Bosma". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2019-02-13.
  23. ^ a b Brocklehurst 2016, p. 6.
  24. ^ Brocklehurst 2016, p. 3.
  25. ^ Brocklehurst 2016, pp. 15–16.
  26. ^ Brocklehurst 2016, p. 15.
  27. ^ Brocklehurst 2016, pp. 37–38.
  28. ^ a b Brocklehurst 2016, p. 32.
  29. ^ Brocklehurst 2016, p. 16.
  30. ^ Brocklehurst 2016, p. 39.
  31. ^ Brocklehurst 2016, p. 18.
  32. ^ Brocklehurst 2016, pp. 50–51.
  33. ^ Brocklehurst 2016, p. 56.
  34. ^ "Remains found in incinerator could not be ID'd, Bosma trial hears | CBC News". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2018-07-22.
  35. ^ Brocklehurst 2016, p. 86.
  36. ^ a b News; Canada (2016-05-20). "Bosma shot while struggling for gun during truck test drive, murder trial told | National Post". Retrieved 2019-02-13. {{cite web}}: |last1= has generic name (help)
  37. ^ Adam, Carter (May 19, 2016). "Dellen Millard's lawyer points finger at Mark Smich as Tim Bosma shooter". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2019-02-13.
  38. ^ a b "Dellen Millard, Mark Smich found guilty of murdering Tim Bosma". CTV Kitchener. 17 June 2016. Retrieved 2018-07-21.
  39. ^ "Tim Bosma Murder: Dellen Millard, Accused In Slaying, Charged With Additional Murders". HuffPost. Retrieved 2016-06-28.
  40. ^ Dimmano, Rosie (25 June 2018). "It's either murder or suicide in the case of the death of Wayne Millard". Toronto Star. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  41. ^ Casey, Liam (12 June 2018). "Dellen Millard called dad a failure, blamed him for family business woes, trial hears". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  42. ^ a b "Dellen Millard found guilty of killing his father". Kelowna Now. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  43. ^ Hayes, Molly (Sep 24, 2018). "Dellen Millard found guilty of first-degree murder for a third time". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2019-08-16.
  44. ^ Carter, Adam (18 December 2018). "Dellen Millard sentenced to another 25 years behind bars for father's murder". CBC News. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  45. ^ R. v. Ward-Jackson, 2018 ONSC 178 (12 January 2018), Superior Court of Justice (Ontario, Canada)
  46. ^ Taekema, Dan (March 6, 2023). "Serial killer Dellen Millard found guilty of assault in prison stabbing". CBC News. Retrieved March 17, 2023.
  47. ^ a b c Omstead, Jordan (Mar 17, 2023). "Court denies Millard appeal in father's murder, but stacked parole struck down". CBC. Retrieved Mar 17, 2023.
  48. ^ "Ontario's top court upholds convictions against Laura Babcock's murderers". CTV News. 15 June 2023. Retrieved 18 June 2023.
  49. ^ Reasons by Paciocco J.A., R. v. Millard, 2023 ONCA 426

Bibliography edit