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Tim Bosma trial: Mark Smich must have buried gun in 'magical forest,' Millard's lawyer says

Mark Smich must have buried the gun he believes was used to kill Tim Bosma in "some magical forest," Dellen Millard's lawyer suggested in court Monday — because the accused killer can't remember anything about where he left it.
Mark Smich, left, and Dellen Millard are accused of the first-degree murder of Hamilton resident Tim Bosma. Smich is being cross-examined Monday in a Hamilton courtroom. (Court exhibit)

Mark Smich must have buried the gun he believes was used to kill Tim Bosma in "some magical forest," Dellen Millard's lawyer suggested in court Monday — because the accused killer can't remember anything about where he left it.

Dellen Millard's lawyer, Nadir Sachak, pressed Mark Smich in a Hamilton court about the gun he buried that could have helped determine who actually shot Tim Bosma.

"Is this some gun burial-induced amnesia?" Sachak said. "You seem to have forgotten every detail except it's buried in some magical forest."

Sachak also pointed out to the jury that it was Smich, not Millard, who buried the weapon.

"That gun was buried by you, not Mr. Millard," he said.

"That's correct," Smich said.

Smich, 28, of Oakville, Ont., and Dellen Millard, 30, of Toronto, have both pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.

The questioning about the gun marked a dramatic start to testimony in Ontario Superior Court as Smich faced cross-examination about his version of events of the 2013 killing of Bosma, of Hamilton.

"You made a conscious decision to bury that gun," Sachak said. "Under the shock, stress, paranoia, I made the decision, yes," Smich responded.

The accused had previously testified that a friend of Millard's gave him the gun along with a bag of marijuana after Millard's arrest. He said he was expecting the drugs, but was surprised to get the gun, suggesting to the court that he felt he was being framed by Millard.

In burying the gun, Sachak said, Smich got rid of a key piece of evidence that could have helped exonerate him if he was telling the truth.

'Did you shoot Tim Bosma?'

Sachak also played portions of video from Smich's interrogation by Hamilton police. In the video, Smich looks haggard, and is wrapped in a blanket.

"Where is that gun right now, Mark?" Hamilton police Staff Sgt. Matt Kavanagh asks in the 2013 video. "You can point me to evidence right now."

Smich would not look up, or respond to that question.

Tim Bosma is seen here with his wife Sharlene at their wedding. Bosma vanished on May 6, 2013. (Facebook)

"Bring some peace to this family," Kavanagh said, to which Smich didn't say anything.

"Did you shoot Tim Bosma, yes or no?" Kavanagh asked. "I need to speak to a lawyer," Smich responded.

In court, Sachak told Smich to "tell the jury how much you were trying to profit from the death of Mr. Bosma" by selling the gun. Smich was allegedly trying to get over $1,000 for the gun to pay for a lawyer, court heard.

"I wasn't trying to profit from the death of Mr. Bosma," Smich said.

"Why don't you tell Mr. Bosma and his mother how much their son's life was worth when you were trying to sell that gun?" Sachak countered. "Like I told you, that wasn't a thought going through my mind," Smich said.

Smich says Millard pulled trigger

Last week, Smich told the jury his version of Bosma's last few hours, saying Millard pulled the trigger and killed Bosma. He said he buried the gun in a panic after Millard was arrested, but can't remember where. He also said he did not help Millard put Bosma's body in a livestock incinerator, giving Millard the excuse that he had a sore shoulder.

Smich previously testified that Bosma and Millard were in Bosma's truck and he was following behind in Millard's Yukon. Millard was driving the pickup and pulled over to the side of the road at one point. Smich said he got our of the Yukon and saw Millard exit the pickup putting something that appeared to be a gun in a satchel.

"He [Millard] just said, 'I'm taking the truck,' and goes and grabs some stuff from the back. When I got out, I walked around, and I seen a bullet hole in the window and Mr. Bosma laying with his head against the dashboard," Smich told the court.

It was the first time the jury and Bosma's family members in court have heard about what may have happened on May 6, 2013, after Bosma left in his pickup truck with two men who wanted to test drive the vehicle he was selling. 

Noudga lied under oath, Smich says

Sachak pressed Smich for other details from around the time Bosma disappeared, but in most cases, he said he couldn't remember. Smich told the jury he didn't know how long he cycled from his mother's home with the gun, if he passed any landmarks on the way, or where he stayed the night after he buried the gun.

"You didn't wake up at the Bosma residence, did you?" Sachak asked. "Absolutely not," Smich said.

As Smich continued testifying, Millard watched his onetime friend intently while taking notes. At one point, Smich called Millard's former girlfriend Christina Noudga "a liar." Noudga previously testified that she spoke to Smich on May 10, and that he was in a panic.

"So you're saying she lied under oath about talking to you?" Sachak said, and Smich said yes. 

Bosma, 32, never returned to his home. ​Investigators later found charred human remains, believed to belong to Bosma, in a livestock incinerator on Millard's farm in Ayr, Ont.

At the the outset of the day, one of the jurors was excused because of the death of her brother, bringing the number of jurors down to 13. Only 12 jurors will deliberate on a final verdict.

CBC reporter Adam Carter is in court each day reporting live on the trial. You can view a recap of his live blog here. On mobile? View it here.

adam.carter@cbc.ca

About the Author

Adam Carter

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Adam Carter is a Newfoundlander who now calls Toronto home. He enjoys a good story and playing loud music. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamCarterCBC or drop him an email at adam.carter@cbc.ca.