Live from the courtroom: Tim Bosma murder trial begins

HAMILTON - The trial of two accused killers of a Hamilton man who went missing after taking two men for a test drive nearly three years ago has begun this morning.

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Tim Bosma left his home on May 6, 2013 and was never seen alive again - his body was found "burned beyond recognition" more than a week later.

Dellen Millard, of Toronto, and Mark Smich, from Oakville, Ont., are both charged with first-degree murder in Bosma's death.

Lawyers for both men have said they will plead not guilty to the charges.

Seven men and seven women have been selected to the jury plus two alternates, a process that took a little more than a week.

Justice Andrew Goodman has told jurors that the trial is expected to last four months.

Bosma's wife, Sharlene, said goodbye to her husband around 9:20 p.m. A few days later she told the media her husband said, with a smile, he'd be right back. Within an hour without hearing from him, she called police and by the next morning, a massive manhunt was on.

"I ask and I beg and I plead to whomever has my husband to please let him go," she said through tears at the news conference.

"It was just a truck, it was just a truck."

Bosma was 32 years old at the time of his death and left behind a young daughter.

According to police, a man phoned Bosma to arrange a test drive for his black, 2007 Dodge Ram pickup that he had advertised for sale online. That night in May, two men showed up at his house. The police response to find Bosma was massive, upwards of 150 officers participating across numerous regions in southern Ontario.

Police have said they believe Bosma was killed shortly after he went missing.

Millard was arrested on May 10 and charged with forcible confinement and theft of a vehicle.

The search for Bosma continued, with investigators searching two properties owned by Millard, who is the heir to an aviation business started by his grandfather nearly 50 years ago. Several days later police found Bosma's truck.

Then they found his body, which police said was "burned beyond recognition."

On May 22, police arrested Mark Smich.

Both were charged with first-degree murder.

In mid-July 2014, the attorney general's office approved a direct indictment that sent the case straight to trial on the first-degree murder charge alone against Millard and Smich, skipping the preliminary hearing. It is a rare legal move in Ontario.

According to a Crown policy manual on the Ministry of the Attorney General's website, "this power is an extraordinary one and is used infrequently."

Three Crown Attorneys will prosecute the case while Millard and Smich area each represented by two lawyers.


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