Tim Bosma trial: Arrest of accused Mark Smich detailed for jury
The accuracy of an investigator's notes and the time-stamp on a video questioned
When Mark Smich was arrested for first-degree murder in the death of Tim Bosma, he yelled at his girlfriend to keep quiet, a Hamilton court heard Wednesday.
It was the first time that the Ontario Superior Court jury has heard details about the arrest of the 28-year-old from Oakville, Ont.
Smich and Dellen Millard, 30, of Toronto, are accused of killing Bosma, 32. Both accused have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.
Prosecutors believe that Bosma's body was burned in a livestock incinerator after he was shot and killed inside a Dodge pickup truck he had been trying to sell online.
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Bosma, 32, was last seen on May 6, 2013, and was missing for more than a week before remains were found on May 14 on an Ayr, Ont., farm owned by Millard. Earlier in the trial, the Crown told jurors it is believed the remains belonged to Bosma, though tests have not confirmed that.
Sgt. Stuart Oxley from Hamilton police — who previously testified about Millard's arrest — told the jury Wednesday about May 22, 2013, when Smich was arrested.
Oxley and a team of officers had been tailing Smich for over a week, watching his movements around two residences in the area. At one point, the officers picked up a cigarette butt he threw away as a "DNA discard."
Oxley testified that around 10 a.m. on May 22, he saw Smich on a BMX bike on an overpass overlooking the QEW in Oakville. "I grabbed Mr. Smich, placed him on the ground, put him under arrest for first-degree murder," he testified. Smich's girlfriend, Marlena Meneses, was also placed under arrest.
"Mr. Smich was yelling at Marlena repeatedly, 'Don't tell them anything, babe,'" Oxley said.
In cross-examination of the officer, Smich's lawyer Jennifer Trehearne asked how Oxley and other officers were dressed when her client was arrested. He said they were wearing plain clothes, with tactical vests over top.
Security camera time-stamp
The accuracy of an investigator's notes and of the time-stamp on a security camera video dominated the morning session of the trial.
The video — which the jury has not seen — was obtained by police from an industrial business called Super Sucker in Ancaster, Ont., the suburban area of Hamilton where Bosma lived. The time-stamp on the video, court heard, was approximately three hours behind.
Millard's lawyer, Ravin Pillay, took Det. Const. Barry Stoltz of the Hamilton police to task when he was in the witness box, alleging that the officer's notes were not complete.
"You testified today that you checked the time-stamp on the video against your cellphone. You have nothing in your notes," Pillay said.
"I try to make as complete notes as possible. Sometimes I make omissions. I am human, and sometimes I make mistakes," Stoltz said.
Pillay continued, saying that the first time the officer mentioned using his cellphone to check the time was on Monday of this week during a prep meeting with the Crown.
"Here we are, almost three years after the event, three weeks into this trial, and the first time it comes up is Monday of this week," Pillay said.
"You didn't record how you did it. That's the point." Pillay said. "You don't know, to the minute, how far the video was out."
"I do know that ... within the minute," Stoltz said.
Court also heard from James Stieva, the director of marketing and communications for Super Sucker. He told the court that when he first viewed video from May 6, 2013, (the day Bosma vanished) the time-stamp was about three hours out.
"If it had been more, I suspect I would have noticed it. I'm a stickler for time," Stieva said.
Financial state of MillardAir examined
The last witness court heard from was Lisa Williams, who was the bookkeeper for MillardAir. Back in 2012, MillardAir had about 14 employees, Williams testified.
After Dellen Millard took over the company in 2012 following his father's death, the workforce changed, she said.
"The employees were let go. Except there was one that remained on," she said.
That employee was Shane Schlatman — the son-in-law of Arthur Jennings, who previously testified about finding Bosma's truck in the MillardAir hangar in Waterloo, Ont.
Williams told the court about a loan the company took out in October 2012 to buy equipment needed to keep the business going. She said it was for approximately $3.7 million.
The only people being paid by MillardAir after Dellen Millard took over were Millard himself, his mother, Madeleine Burns, and Schlatman, Williams said. There was no title or occupation for Millard or his mother on the books, she added.
Up until Dellen Millard took over the business, Williams said, her understanding was the company's goal was "aircraft maintenance."
"After a while, it was decided [the hangar] was going to be used for aircraft rental space," she said.
Income from the aircraft rental space was "very minimal," she said. "It was not very often that it was used."
CBC reporter Adam Carter is in the courtroom each day reporting live on the trial. You can view a recap of his live blog here: