Multiple murderer Dellen Millard said he was cast as the “perfect villain” in Tim Bosma’s murder, asking Ontario’s highest court Wednesday why he would be so “sloppy and careless” if he had planned to kill the 32-year-old father.
Millard is representing himself before the Ontario Court of Appeal as he appeals his conviction for murdering Bosma.
In this artist’s sketch, Dellen Millard, left to right, Millard’s lawyer Ravin Pillay, Justice Maureen Forestell, Crown Ken Lockhart and Crown Jill Cameron are shown during a sentencing hearing in court in Toronto on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould)
He told the court the arguments brought against him by prosecutors and his co-convicted during the 2016 trial played to the jury’s emotions, resulting in an “irreparably unfair trial”.
“Both the Crown and Smich made submissions to the jury that appealed to emotion. The consequence was an irreparably unfair trial that no instruction was capable of correcting,” he said, appearing by video from prison.
“I was characterized as the perfect villain. Wealthy, privileged, seemingly powerful and advantaged.”
The Crown is asking the court to dismiss the appeal, arguing the case against Millard and his co-convicted Mark Smich is overwhelming and the judge properly directed the jury.
The Crown argued Millard and Smich set out to murder Bosma on May 6, 2013, when they met with him under the pretence of test driving his pickup truck, which they also planned to steal. Prosecutors brought evidence they stripped the truck, hid the murder weapon and burned Bosma’s body in Millard’s incinerator stowed away behind his farm.
The lengthy 2016 trial saw Millard and Smich blame each other for his murder, characterizing it as a truck theft mission that took a turn when the other fatally shot Bosma, a stranger to them both. Smich testified in his own defence, Millard did not.
On Wednesday, Millard asked the court why he, someone who had taken “extreme measures” to avoid getting caught for thefts in the past, would be so “sloppy and careless,” the night of a purportedly planned murder.
He said, “why show my identity to witnesses and not delete content from my devices or turn off my own cellphone?”
In hearings his week, Millard and Smich are appealing their convictions in the high-profile murders of Bosma and Laura Babcock, the 23-year-old woman who prosecutors said Millard was motivated to kill in 2012 to settle a love triangle with his then-girlfriend.
Millard is also set to represent himself Friday, when he appeals his conviction for murdering his father, Wayne Millard. His death was originally ruled a suicide, but police reopened the investigation after Millard was charged with Bosma’s murder.
Police detected Millard’s fingerprints inside Bosma’s bloodstained truck, which was tracked down at Millard’s mom’s house. A shell casing to a .380 calibre bullet was found in the back seat and the Crown brought evidence tying the two men to the same calibre gun.
Bosma’s blood was found on the hatch of Millard’s incinerator, labelled the “eliminator”, parked in the woods behind Millard’s barn. The bones found inside were those of a human male under 40, a forensic anthropologist testified.
Lawyers for Smich argued Wednesday there was an “overall theme of unfairness” against him during the 2016 trial. Among the issues raised Wednesday, the lawyers argued the trial judge unfairly allowed Millard’s lawyer to bring evidence of Smich’s purportedly violent personality and did not properly instruct the jury to separate the evidence against the two co-accused.
Lawyers for the Crown are set to respond Thursday to Millard and Smich’s appeal arguments.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 15, 2023.