Dellen Millard faces photos of his dead father, Wayne, as 3rd murder trial begins

Gruesome crime scene photos of Wayne Millard's body were shown in a Toronto courtroom Thursday, as the trial of his son, twice-convicted killer Dellen Millard, began in Superior Court.

Millard already convicted in Tim Bosma, Laura Babcock slayings

Dellen Millard, 32, faces a charge of first-degree murder in the death of his father, Wayne Millard. (Court exhibit)

Paramedics found Wayne Millard stone cold and turning black in his bed, with a trail of blood flowing from his head and a revolver sitting in a bag next to him.

Gruesome crime scene photos of Millard's body were shown in a Toronto courtroom Thursday, as the trial of his son, twice-convicted killer Dellen Millard, began before a judge alone in Superior Court.

The trial marks the final charges yet to be settled against Millard, 32, who is already serving consecutive life sentences for the deaths of Hamilton's Tim Bosma in 2013, and Toronto's Laura Babcock in 2012. Millard has pleaded not guilty. 

The 71-year-old elder Millard's death was originally ruled a suicide back in late 2012. He was found dead at his home at 5 Maple Gate Court in Etobicoke, Ont., with a single gunshot wound through his eye.

After police launched investigations into Dellen Millard for the Bosma and Babcock murders, police reopened the case. He was then charged with murder in his father's death in April of 2014.

He said he loved me. That he adored me.- Janet Campbell, Wayne Millard's then-girlfriend

Extremely graphic photos of Millard's corpse were flashed across screens inside the courtroom throughout the afternoon.

Millard could be seen in the photos on his side, with his right arm underneath his head, and his left arm outstretched off the bed, as if he was sleeping. 

While they were being shown, his son, who was sitting inside the prisoner's box, alternated between looking up at the photos of his dead father, and taking notes on a laptop.

The Crown contends that further investigation into the case revealed Millard's DNA was on the grip of the gun that killed his father.

It also says text messages and cell tower records show Millard was the one who bought the gun on July 2, 2012.

Wayne Millard's girlfriend testifies he wasn't depressed

The trial's first witness was Janet Campbell — a cousin of Wayne Millard by adoption, who in the months before his death had become his girlfriend. The two also dated for a time in their teens and early 20s, she said.

Campbell testified that the two were quite close, often talking on the phone for hours and meeting up for trips to Millard's airplane hangar in Waterloo, Ont. 

"I think he cared deeply for me," she said.

The two last spoke on the phone on the night of Nov. 28, 2012, and into the early morning hours of Nov. 29, Campbell said.

Everything seemed fine at the time — but in the days after, she began to panic when she couldn't get in touch with him. So she emailed Dellen Millard and, after two tries, got a response.

"He told me his father was dead …. He said, 'My father is dead, and it would appear by his own hand,' Campbell said. "I believe that's how it read … I was stunned. I was totally, absolutely stunned."

Dozens of photos of Wayne Millard's home were shown in court Thursday. (Court exhibit)

Campbell also said that Millard seemed in good spirits before he died, and wasn't depressed.

"He said he loved me. That he adored me," Campbell said.

'I was grasping at straws'

In his cross examination, Millard's lawyer, Ravin Pillay, pressed Campbell about the particulars of their relationship, and the elder Millard's mindset in his final days.

Pillay was noticeably more forceful than he was during cross-examination in the Bosma trial, where he also represented Millard.  

Through his questioning, Pillay portrayed Wayne Millard as a reclusive, guarded loner, with a debilitating back injury and problems with alcohol, apparently raising the possibility he was depressed enough to kill himself.

"It's fair to say Wayne was a recluse, right?" Pillay asked. "Yes, always was … he wasn't a social animal," Campbell responded. 

The Crown says this gun was found next to Wayne Millard's bed when his body was discovered. (Court exhibit)

Campbell agreed with Pillay's suggestion that Wayne Millard was "experiencing a great deal of stress" from taking out loans for the business. 

At one point, he also read out one of her previous statements to police, in which she said the MillardAir business was "sucking the life right out of" Wayne. 

"I was trying to reason why this could happen, and this is the only thing I could come up with," she said. "I was grasping at straws."

The Crown says Wayne Millard was killed by a .32-calibre revolver. (Court exhibit)

Though he spent his last two trials sitting at a table with his lawyer — or acting as his own lawyer, in the Babcock case — Millard is seated in the prisoner's box for these proceedings. He appeared wearing jeans, a dress shirt, and a blazer. His hair was cropped short, except for one long braid behind his right ear.

He smiled as he surveyed the packed courtroom as the day's proceedings began. He also shared a long look with his mother, Madeleine Burns. She appeared briefly before the court, and will testify for the first time in mid-June.

Assistant Crown attorneys Jill Cameron and Ken Lockhart are again prosecuting the case, after successfully securing convictions for Babcock's murder.

Justice Maureen Forestell is presiding over the trial. It's expected to last about one month. 

adam.carter@cbc.ca

About the Author

Adam Carter

Reporter, CBC Hamilton

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