Tim Bosma trial: Courtroom erupts in laughter at Christina Noudga's testimony
Cross-examination continues today of woman who is charged with being an accessory after the fact
Laughter erupted more than once in a Hamilton courtroom Wednesday over the testimony given by Dellen Millard's former girlfriend at the trial of the two men accused of killing Tim Bosma.
Christina Noudga, 24, returned to the witness box today for her fourth day of testimony, as Mark Smich's lawyer Thomas Dungey continued his cross-examination.
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Many of those in the courtroom laughed when Noudga testified she did not destroy evidence when she wiped down parts of a trailer that contained Bosma's truck, under the instruction of Millard's mother, Madeleine Burns.
"We didn't remove any evidence, we just removed our touching the trailer," said Noudga, who is charged with being an accessory after the fact. "At the time, we didn't see it as evidence."
I'm sure I can be a powerful weapon.- Christina Noudga, in a note found at her house
Looking somewhat baffled, Dungey asked why she would wipe the trailer down if she didn't think there was evidence.
She again repeated she didn't think it was evidence, and there was more laughter at her response.
Noudga, of Toronto, is the Crown's last witness at the trial of Millard, 30, of Toronto, and Mark Smich, 28, of Oakville, Ont., who have both pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.
Bosma, 32, who lived in the suburban Ancaster area of Hamilton, vanished on May 6, 2013, after taking two men on a test drive in a pickup truck he was trying to sell. Investigators later found charred human remains, believed to belong to Bosma, in a livestock incinerator on Millard's farm in Ayr, Ont.
Noudga testified that she only intended to wipe off her prints and Millard's mother's prints, but not Millard's.
"I wiped off my prints, I don't know where else he touched," Noudga said. In notes she wrote recovered from her bedroom, she wrote "they cannot prove it because no prints."
The court again broke out in laughter at that response, and Justice Andrew Goodman had to call for order when the guffaws didn't stop.
"I didn't wipe out his evidence. I wiped out my evidence and then realized that inevitably I wiped out his evidence as well, but I didn't wipe out the entire trailer," she said.
The exchange between Noudga and Dungey became more tense as the morning progressed. While Noudga has seemed unfazed in previous days, she appeared frustrated at times today. At one point, she started over enunciating her words as if speaking to a child.
'I can be a powerful weapon'
Dungey spent a large chunk of his cross-examination pressing Noudga about a series of notes she wrote that were found in her bedroom. In some cases, Noudga said, she had written portions of drafts of letters she was planning to have delivered to Millard.
In the end, she testified, she didn't send those drafts. Though Noudga kept most of Millard's letters, her letters to Millard were never recovered.
"OK with Andrew [Michalski] and Matt [Hagerman]. Now maybe I could write Matt a letter. I feel like it would be easier than traceable phones," she wrote in one note. "Same with Andrew. Not sure how to get a meet anonymous, Matt for sure."
Noudga said she didn't send that to Millard. "All we've got is your testimony that you didn't send him a copy of this letter ... because we don't have your letters that you sent him," Dungey said.
In another note, Noudga wrote, "Give me a bit of info on what they are needed for. I'm useless being kept in the dark ... I'm sure I can be a powerful weapon."
Noudga says police 'harassed' her
She also referred to the police investigation into her and Millard's charges as "harassment." Noudga refused to give a statement to police until she was arrested months after Millard was. She said a lawyer advised her not to talk to police.
"It's not fair for my friends and family to be harassed when I was advised against [making a statement,]" Noudga said.
"Is that the way you term a police investigation?" Dungey said. "In my mind I felt like I was being harassed," Noudga said.
"With good reason," Dungey said.
The court also heard about how Noudga helped Millard move the incinerator in which the Crown alleges Bosma was burned. Dungey questioned how moving that incinerator in the middle of the night could be seen as part of a "regular routine." Noudga testified that she and Millard were "night owls" who often did things at odd hours.
She said that didn't "register to her" as moving evidence.
"So you go to the farm between two and three to move an in incinerator. And he tells you because it's because the floorboards in the barn are creaking?" Dungey asked. "Did you see [the floorboards]?"
Noudga responded she didn't "sit down and inspect the floor."
'I deserve you, and you deserve me,' Millard writes
Dungey also zeroed in on the fact that when Millard was first arrested, he was charged with forcible confinement and theft, not murder. At that time, it was thought there was hope Bosma could still be alive.
"Did it ever occur to you Mr. Bosma is missing, he might be in the truck, I should call the police?" Dungey asked.
"That never occurred to me," Noudga responded. "It was a possibility we didn't explore ... we didn't explore where the person might be." She never referred to Bosma by name.
Dungey chose a very specific point in Millard's letters to his former lover with which to cap off his cross-examination. He showed a portion on the courtroom screens where Millard wrote, "I deserve you, and you deserve me."
"That's what he wrote to you, right?" Dungey said, and Noudga agreed.
"No further questions," Dungey said.
The judge will be hearing legal arguments on Thursday without the jury present. The trial will resume in front of the jury on Monday morning.
CBC reporter Adam Carter is in the courtroom each day reporting live on the trial. You can read a recap of his blog here.