The prosecutors in the Tim Bosma murder trial have taken the unusual step of trying to fast-track the case and go straight to trial.
The Hamilton Spectator is reporting Friday that Assistant Crown attorneys Tony Leitch and Craig Fraser have taken a move reserved for the most serious cases — applying to the Attorney General for a direct indictment.
The move would see the case skip its eight-week preliminary hearing, scheduled to start Sept. 8, and go straight to trial.
Dellen Millard, 28, and Mark Smich, 26, are charged with first degree murder in the death of Tim Bosma, a 32-year-old Ancaster man last seen taking a test drive with two men in a truck he was selling online.
They last appeared in court on Thursday, and are due back on Aug. 7. Christine Noudga, 21, is charged with being an accessory after the fact.
Direct indictments are rare in Canada. A recent example of a direct indictment is the case of Michael Rafferty, who was convicted in the kidnapping murder of eight-year-old Tori Stafford of Woodstock.
Direct indictment decisions are made unilaterally by the prosecutors and the defence has no ability to argue against it.
Under federal guidelines, direct indictments are permitted, among other factors, to avoid multiple proceedings, to protect the safety of witnesses and their families, or “where the age, health or other circumstances relating to witnesses requires their evidence to be presented before the trial court as soon as possible.”
Millard also faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of his father, Wayne Millard. The elder Millard's death was originally ruled a suicide.
Millard and Smich are also charged with first-degree murder in the death of Laura Babcock, 23.
Bosma went missing on May 6, 2013. His remains were found burned beyond recognition about a week later on a Waterloo-area farm owned by Millard.
Bosma is survived by a wife, Sharlene, and an infant daughter. Sharlene has since started a charity to help the families of victims.