Tim Bosma trial: Your frequently asked questions

CBC's Adam Carter is live blogging from court every day at the trial of Dellen Millard and Mark Smich, both accused of killing Tim Bosma. Here he answers your most frequently asked questions about the trial.

CBC's Adam Carter answers your questions about the trial of Dellen Millard and Mark Smich

Tim Bosma vanished after going on a test drive while trying to sell his truck in May of 2013. The trial of two men accused of first-degree murder in connection with his death continues Monday. (Facebook)

As one of the biggest trials in Hamilton's history unfolds, thousands of people have been watching and reading about Dellen Millard and Mark Smich — the two men accused of killing Hamilton's Tim Bosma.

The Crown alleges Millard, 30, of Toronto, and Smich, 28, of Oakville, Ont., shot and incinerated Bosma, 32, who lived in the suburban Ancaster area of Hamilton. Both have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. The trial has been on a weeklong break and resumes Monday.

CBC Hamilton reporter Adam Carter has been in the courtroom each day, and many people have reached out to him on Twitter and by email asking questions about the trial.

Here are his answers to your most frequently asked questions.

1. Do Millard or Smich have supporters in the courtroom?

A few people have shown up and sat in the seats reserved for family and supporters of the accused, but those instances have been few and far between.

In these situations, those people don't usually identify themselves when asked by reporters.

2. How do the accused act in court?

Smich has been very stoic — usually just staring straight ahead as evidence is presented against him.

Millard, by contrast, is a little more animated. He often looks Smich up and down when his lawyer, Thomas Dungey, is cross-examining. He also waved one day when pointed out in the courtroom by a police officer who was testifying.

Perhaps his most telling reaction came in court's last session when his uncle testified, and the animosity between them was palpable.

3. How much longer will the trial go?

It's tough to say exactly. The Crown expects to wrap up its witnesses around the first week of April — but trials are tricky to predict. Depending on how the evidence is presented, it could go longer.

Once the Crown has finished, the defence can then present its case and call witnesses. Original estimations had the trial running three to four months from the beginning of February.

4. Why is the jury sent in and out of the courtroom for legal arguments?

This isn't uncommon in trials — it's called a "voir dire," which is essentially a mini-trial within a trial to determine issues like the admissibility of evidence.

Sometimes those arguments are based around whether or not the jury should be able to hear specific things, and as such, they can't be in the room until that is decided.

5. Will Millard and Smich testify?

We don't know. They aren't compelled to, but they have the option.

6. Will their girlfriends testify?

Yes, the Crown has said both Millard's girlfriend Christina Noudga and Smich's girlfriend Marlena Meneses will testify.

7. Will Millard's mother testify?

Millard's mother Madeleine Burns does not appear to have been in court so far.

It's unclear if she is being called as a witness, which means she would not be able to be inside the courtroom until she is called to testify.

8. What is the defence's strategy?

Many people have asked me what the defence's strategy is, seeing as there hasn't been a ton of cross-examination.

Watching the two legal teams spar over the position of a shell casing found in Bosma's truck shows both accused are not presenting a united front.

Smich's lawyer Thomas Dungey has repeatedly suggested to the jury that Bosma was shot by the driver on the test drive, while the Ancaster father was sitting in the passenger seat. Nadir Sachak, Millard's lawyer, presented a counter argument, saying the shell could only have come from the back. 

Expect that theory to come up again.

9. Can I come watch the proceedings?

Yes, you can. The trial is open to the public, and usually sits from Monday to Thursday. Proceedings are held in courtroom 600, and usually start at 10 a.m. The courtroom is often full, with many family members and onlookers in attendance. 

Full high school and university classes have taken field trips to watch what is happening, too. On days that the courtroom is full, a second courtroom with a live video feed is set up on the courthouse's seventh floor.

10. Why did court take March break off, and why doesn't court sit on Fridays?

A trial like this takes a toll on a jury, and those breaks help them keep some semblance of normalcy in their lives/lets them run errands.