Tim Bosma trial: Dellen Millard's wealth again a focus

Questions about the financial situation of aviation dynasty heir Dellen Millard dominated much of the testimony Wednesday at the Tim Bosma murder trial.

Defence attempts to portray Millard as wealthy, while Crown says he was property rich but cash poor

One of Dellen Millard's employees, Javier Villada, testified Wednesday in Ontario Superior Court in Hamilton. (Adam Carter/CBC)

Questions about the financial situation of aviation dynasty heir Dellen Millard dominated much of the testimony Wednesday at the Tim Bosma trial.

Testimony resumed at the first-degree murder trial of Millard, 30, of Toronto, and co-accused Mark Smich, 28, of Oakville, Ont., after a weeklong break because of legal arguments and Easter holidays.

Both men have pleaded not guilty to killing Bosma, 32, who lived in the suburban Ancaster area of Hamilton and was last seen taking two men on a test drive of a truck he had for sale on May 6, 2013.

In Ontario Superior Court today, Javier Villada was back in the witness box talking about the time he spent doing construction jobs for Millard. He previously said he set up a company called Villada Homes with Millard, and he was the foreman while Millard was the owner.

Dellen Millard, 30, is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of Hamilton man Tim Bosma. (Hamilton Police Service/Court exhibit)

Villada's testimony offered a glimpse into Millard's finances. Millard's defence team has repeatedly attempted to portray their client as well off, while the Crown has gone to great lengths to try to prove he was property rich yet cash poor.

Millard's lawyer Nadir Sachak continued his cross-examination by asking about a two- to three-week trip Villada took to New Mexico with his 17-year-old son in 2013. Court has heard that trip was taken at Millard's behest to pick up a dune buggy.

"Any expenses associated with that New Mexico trip, Mr. Millard paid for?" Sachak asked. "Yes sir," Villada responded.

Millard and Villada were apparently in disagreement about how much money Villada owed Millard, court heard. Millard said he was owed $11,288. "We both owed money to each other," Villada countered. Court has heard that Millard oversaw many of the financial aspects of Villada's life — from his pay to his living accommodations and the vehicles he drove.

Tax troubles

Last week, Villada testified that he received a statement from the government telling him he owed money in back taxes for the construction business.

Sachak said that wasn't exactly the case. "The government sent you a document saying you, Javier Villada, owe taxes for the person Javier Villada," he said.

In his cross-examination, Smich's lawyer Thomas Dungey attempted to chip away at the generous image Millard's legal team presented.

The original plan for the company the two started was to renovate, build and sell homes, court has heard. Dungey listed several properties that Millard owned that Villada worked on, noting that the company never did any work on other properties. 

"All that work was for the personal gain of Mr. Millard and had nothing to do with MillardAir, correct?" Dungey said. 

He also asked about the lease deal Villada had with Millard for a red Dodge truck registered to MillardAirDungey repeatedly said that Villada was working "night and day, seven days a week," and often using that company vehicle, which he was leasing for $450 a month, court has heard.

"You're actually paying Mr. Millard for his truck, when you're doing work for him, using his truck," Dungey said.

Villada testified that Millard owes him more than $20,000 in past wages and expenses.

"So when Mr. Millard was arrested, you were left with all these receipts ... and you never got paid for that?" Dungey asked.

"And also working hours too," Villada replied.

'That's not Mark'

Villada also testified that he had met Smich before — yet he couldn't pick him out in the courtroom, sitting directly in his line of sight. When Smich was pointed out as sitting next to Millard, Villada responded, "That's not Mark."

Mark Smich, co-accused in the Tim Bosma trial, is seen in a police surveillance photo from before he was arrested. (Court exhibit)

Smich's appearance in court is significantly different from photos of him around the time of his arrest. In those photos he is skinny, sporting buzz-cut hair and baggy clothes. That's a contrast to the Smich the jury has seen: clean cut, heavier and with close-cropped, styled hair.

"The Mark Smich that you knew would wear a hoodie and a sweatshirt," Sachak said, to which Villada said yes. Smich spent an afternoon working for Villada at one point, court heard, but lasted only a few hours before leaving.

The jury also heard again about hoses that were found at a property Millard owned at Riverside Drive in Toronto. Court has heard that the hoses were left running in the back yard for 10 hours at Millard's behest.

The Crown has not presented any theory as to why that was done, or how it relates to the case. Millard's legal team has said Millard wanted to build a deck at the back of the property, and this was done to see how the water would "pond" in the area.

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:

On mobile and can't see the live blog? View it here.