It was one tense minute in a Hamilton courtroom Thursday afternoon when the two men accused of killing Tim Bosma made a brief appearance.
Dellen Millard and Mark Smich appeared individually by video, each appearance taking about 30 seconds. Eight of Bosma’s friends and family sat in the second row, craning their necks to see the men’s images on the screen. When the suspects appeared, the family members audibly drew a collective breath.
The appearances were uneventful — just long enough for both cases to be put off until Feb. 27, when they’ll appear via video link again.
The next significant step in the case won’t begin until Sept. 8, when their preliminary hearing is scheduled to begin. That will take about eight weeks.
Smich appeared from Toronto East Detention Centre. His hair was cut short. He wore a baggy jumpsuit that appeared too large for his slight frame. He spoke twice — once to confirm that his name is Mark Daniel Smich, and again to say “thank you” when he received his next appearance date.
Millard was more colourful — almost cheerful. He also appeared in an orange jumpsuit, but he's at the Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre. When he received his next date, he said “All righty, thank you.”
Both men face murder charges in the death of Tim Bosma, a 32-year-old Ancaster man who went missing May 6, 2013. He advertised his black Dodge pickup truck online. His wife, Sharlene, last saw him leave with two men to take the truck for a test drive. Police announced a week later that he was dead, and investigators found his body at a Cambridge-area farm.
The case has inspired international interest and outpourings of sympathy from across the country. Sharlene Bosma has started a charity, Tim’s Tribute, for victims of crime and their families.
Sharlene Bosma has said she will attend as many of the court appearances as possible, no matter how brief. She was there on Wednesday.