Tim Bosma case: With jury chosen, trial starts next week

Fourteen jurors and two alternates have been chosen for the trial of two men charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Ancaster. Ont’s Tim Bosma.

14 jurors and 2 alternates chosen for trial of co-accused Dellen Millard and Mark Smich

Ancaster, Ont.'s Tim Bosma, seen here with his widow Sharlene, vanished in May of 2013 while trying to sell his truck. (Facebook)

Fourteen jurors and two alternates have been chosen for the trial of two men charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Ancaster, Ont.'s Tim Bosma.

After a week of searching and screening in what promises to be one of the highest profile cases in Hamilton's history, jury selection is now complete. Evidence will be presented for the case starting on Feb. 1.

Through Monday's proceedings, accused Dellen Millard, 30, of Toronto, and Mark Smich, 28, of Oakville, Ont. sat in the courtroom and watched as the jurors were selected. They now have seen each person who will sit on the jury and listen to months of testimony for the trial. 

The two accused looked the juror in the eyes from across the courtroom — coming face to face with the people who will decide if they are responsible for Bosma's death. If convicted, a first-degree murder charge carries an automatic life sentence with no possibility of parole for 25 years. 

Dellen Millard, left, and Mark Smich appear in court in front of Justice Andrew J. Goodman in Hamilton, Ont., on Jan.18, 2016. Jury selection has begun in Hamilton at the trial of the two men accused in the death of Tim Bosma. (Alexandra Newbould/Canadian Press)

Seven women and seven men have been chosen for the jury, with one woman and one man also chosen as alternates.

Justice Andrew Goodman also excused one juror who had previously been selected last week.

These 16 jurors have been chosen through a legal proceeding called the "challenge for cause process" where each potential juror is screened.

The details of that process are sealed under a court-ordered publication ban. Goodman said in court Monday the ban will stand until he orders otherwise once the trial gets underway.

Jury selection has been ongoing since last Monday. Hundreds of people have been screened to see if they are eligible to sit on the jury. The process did move faster than anticipated, however. The Crown and the defence had put aside an extra week to question potential jurors if it became necessary.

Staffers at the John Sopinka courthouse are bracing for an onslaught of interest from both the media and the public in relation to the case. Even though the trial will be held in the building's largest courtroom, an overflow room with a high definition stream of the proceedings is being set up to accommodate extra onlookers.

Members of Bosma's family were once again in the courtroom to watch on Monday. They sat in the back, far away from the two accused, sitting in the prisoner's box. The family has been a fixture in the courthouse since the legal proceedings began.

Over 1,000 people packed into Carmen's Banquet Hall for a public memorial for Tim Bosma back in May of 2013. (CBC)

Bosma's widow Sharlene was not in the courtroom. She is expected to be called as a witness in the case.

Hamilton police Staff Sgt. Matt Kavanagh was also in court watching the process unfold. Kavanagh was the lead officer of the police investigation when Bosma's body was first discovered and charges were laid.

Bosma, 32, vanished on May 6, 2013, while trying to sell his truck. His charred remains were found days later.

CBC News will be in the courtroom throughout the proceedings. Follow reporter Adam Carter on Twitter for updates.