One of two women Crown prosecutors say were in some sort of relationship with Dellen Millard around the time Hamilton man Tim Bosma disappeared testified in court Tuesday about text messages she exchanged with the accused killer.
Though Toronto real estate agent Lisa Whidden classified her relationship with Millard as "intimate," the text message exchanges shown to the jury were not. Most centred on a condo deal Millard was attempting to broker back in 2013 — and one sent just before he was arrested claiming someone "set him up."
Whidden told the court that she and Millard met in 2012 when she was "cold calling real estate ads." She said their relationship progressed, but ended when he was arrested in 2013. She is on a court-ordered no contact order with him now.
- Tim Bosma trial LIVE Wednesday: Dellen Millard's roommate to testify
- Dellen Millard's texts about Tim Bosma revealed
- Dellen Millard's uncle 'blown away' by pet cremation suggestion
The Crown has also talked about a second woman being romantically linked to Millard — Christina Noudga of Toronto, who prosecutors have described as his girlfriend. She is charged with being an accessory after the fact in Bosma's slaying and is also expected to testify at the trial of Millard, 30, of Toronto, and Mark Smich, 28, of Oakville, Ont.
The men are on trial in Ontario Superior Court accused of killing Bosma, 32, who lived in the suburban Ancaster area of Hamilton. Both have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.
Bosma left his home around 9 p.m. on May 6, 2013, to take two men on a test drive of a Dodge Ram pickup truck he was trying to sell, and was never seen alive again. The Crown alleges he was shot inside his truck and then his body burned in a livestock incinerator owned by Millard.
Much of Whidden's testimony Tuesday centred on text messages recovered from her cellphone. During cross-examination, jurors heard that she was handcuffed by police officers who had come to question her.
Handcuffs made her bleed, woman says
"They put me in handcuffs and took my belongings," Whidden testified.
"What crime did you commit?" Millard's lawyer Nadir Sachak asked.
"None that I knew of ... They took my purse and my phone. I did ask them to please get a warrant and I'd give it to them," said Whidden, who also told the court the handcuffs "made her bleed."
Whidden testified under subpoena, as she refused to give a statement to police and didn't speak to the Crown before trial, court heard.
In the end, a warrant was obtained and her phone searched, the jury heard.
One of the texts shown in court from Millard to Whidden was dated May 5, 2013 — the day before Bosma disappeared. It said, "Working on trading one of my gas trucks for a diesel."
The jury has already been told that a red Dodge Ram pickup truck with a gas engine was registered to MillardAir. Bosma's truck was a similar make and model, but was black with a diesel engine.
May 5 was also the day that two men — who the Crown believes were Smich and Millard — went on a test drive of a similar truck with ex-Israeli soldier Igor Tumanenko.
'I'm too hot, stay away'
In another text from Millard to Whidden on May 9, 2013, he wrote "Let him know I'm too hot, stay away," speaking about a mutual friend.
She responded: "Okay. How hot are you, are you going to be okay?" He responds: "Looks bad, I think someone I work with has set me up, I'm not sure why."
On May 11, 2013, she texted Millard one last time: "Cops are here waiting to ask about you. Are you okay?" she wrote. Millard was in custody by then.
Much of Whidden's texts introduced in court involved a condo deal Millard was working on. "Builders have me until May 9 as hard deadline to close or else," one of his texts read.
In cross-examination, Sachak described the condo, in Toronto's Distillery District, as "one of those condos where you purchase it from the design and they build it up."
"So he can only sell it if he pays off the builder?" Sachak asked, to which Whidden responded yes. Court heard Millard paid off the builder three days before the deadline.
Relationship kept casual
Whidden didn't handle the sale of the condo after Millard was arrested, she testified, but said she did receive a commission after another agent closed the deal. She estimated her payout was in the $7,000 to $10,000 range.
Smich's lawyer, Thomas Dungey, asked about that commission in his cross-examination. "Pretty nice gift — you date a guy for a year, don't sell anything, and get $10,000," he said.
Dungey asked Whidden if her relationship with Millard was "serious."
"I wouldn't call it serious, no," she said.
"You have an intimate relationship for a year and it's not serious?" the lawyer shot back.
"It was purposely kept very casual," Whidden responded.
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: