Tim Bosma's truck key, incinerator receipt found in Dellen Millard's SUV
Defence grills police witness at trial of Dellen Millard and Mark Smich
The key to Tim Bosma's truck and a receipt for an animal incinerator were found inside Dellen Millard's SUV after he was arrested, court heard Tuesday.
These were the latest pieces of evidence the Crown laid out in its case alleging that Bosma was abducted and shot at close range inside his truck on May 6, 2013, while his body was incinerated hours later at Millard's airplane hangar in Waterloo, Ont.
Millard, 30, and Mark Smich, 28, are facing first-degree murder charges in connection with Bosma's death, at a jury trial in Ontario Superior Court in Hamilton.
Bosma's key was found on a ring attached to the key in the ignition of Millard's SUV — a GMC Yukon.
Const. Ryan Tocher, who was working with the Hamilton police homicide unit in 2013, was tasked with trying the key inside the truck Bosma had been trying to sell online, he testified Tuesday.
"I went up through the bed and in through the driver's side window and it started," Tocher said.
Police also found a red duffel bag in the back of Millard's SUV. When they opened it, investigators found a receipt for an incinerator registered to Millard Air from June 21, 2012.
With taxes, freight and extras included, the bill was for $15,424.50.
The Crown's opening address said that bone fragments were found inside a portable incinerator used to dispose of Bosma's body. The incinerator was found on Millard's farm near Waterloo, Ont.
A beige satchel was also found inside the SUV. The presence of a satchel has been noted at several points during the trial, but its significance has not yet been explored.
Defence grills police witness
Before that evidence was presented in the second half of the day, defence attorneys pressed a police witness about the way Bosma's truck was examined.
Testimony resumed in the morning with Det. Const. Laura McLellan from Halton Regional Police explaining the multiple areas where blood was found inside and outside the truck.
Blood was found in the tread of the rear passenger side tire and on the handle of the glove box, McLellan testified. Blood was also found on the cushion of the back seat and on the roof liner above one of the visors.
Bosma's family sat in the courtroom through that testimony. Bosma's father, Hank, put his arm around his wife, Mary, while Bosma's widow, Sharlene, wiped away tears.
In cross-examination, Smich's lawyer, Thomas Dungey, asked McLellan why there wasn't video evidence of police conducting the forensic investigation, or photographs taken of certain portions of the investigation.
No video shot during examination
"You have an opportunity to show to this jury exactly where evidence was taken, and you don't take photos of it?" Dungey asked, his voice rising. "Wouldn't it have been of assistance to the jury?"
"I could have, but I didn't," McLellan said, adding that in her experience, police document the evidence, not officers conducting the investigation. "We don't generally do that," she said.
Dungey also centred a good portion of his cross-examination on the spent shell cartridge that was found in the back of the truck's cab.
Over the course of a few days early on in the investigation, the truck and its trailer were moved from Millard's mother's home to a trucking facility in Hamilton, and then to an Ontario Provincial Police facility in Tillsonburg, Ont., court has heard.
"The truck, having gone all these places, it's within reality that anything within the cab part could have rolled back," Dungey said.
In his cross-examination, Millard's lawyer Ravin Pillay pressed McLellan about the fact the trailer had opened up on the highway while in police custody on the way to the facility in Tillsonburg.
"That was obviously a concern for you?" Pillay asked.
"It was a concern, but it was locked up by the time we got to Tillsonburg," McLellan responded.
Mishap 'not a good thing,' witness says
Pillay also asked if it's a "good thing" from a forensics standpoint for a trailer carrying important evidence to open up on the highway.
"No. It's not a good thing," McLellan said.
Pillay had questions about the building where the trailer was originally housed. Court has previously heard that the trailer was first brought to Metro Trucking on Seaman Street, which police had deemed a "secure facility."
But Metro Trucking was not an appropriate place to conduct a delicate forensics examination, McLellan told the court. There were mechanics working around the trailer in the garage at the time, she said.
"The only thing separating this particular crime scene — a murder that you were investigating — was yellow tape, correct?" Pillay asked.
"Yes," McLellan responded.
At the outset, those workers were also taking out their cellphones and taking pictures of what was going on.
"This is not a location where you want to engage in a detailed forensic examination?" Pillay asked.
McLellan responded yes.
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: