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Tim Bosma trial: Dellen Millard tried to influence witnesses from behind bars

Dellen Millard wrote dozens of letters from jail to his girlfriend, Christina Noudga, asking her to be his "covert operative" in fighting the case against him.

Accused killer wrote dozens of letters to his girlfriend, Christina Noudga

A police photo shows Dellen Millard, 30, after he was arrested on May 11, 2013. Millard is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Hamilton man Tim Bosma. (Hamilton Police Service/Court exhibit)
Dellen Millard attempted to use his girlfriend as his "secret agent" from behind bars to influence the testimony of key Crown witnesses in the Tim Bosma case, court heard Thursday at the trial of the two men accused of killing the Hamilton man.  
Christina Noudga, 24, charged as accessory after the fact in Tim Bosma case 2:44

Christina Noudga returned to court for her second day of testimony, as assistant Crown attorney Tony Leitch read out pages and pages of letters Millard sent to her from jail.

The 24-year-old woman has been charged as an accessory after the fact in the Bosma case. It is unclear if Noudga and Millard are still romantically linked.

"You said you wanted to be a secret agent. Be mine?" one letter from Millard read. "Here's your chance to be a covert operative."

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 pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.

Millard wrote to Noudga about Smich, whom he referred to as "treacherous Mark."

"It was Mark who f--ked up a truck robbery, not me," Millard wrote. "Just because I helped clean up Mark's mess, does not mean I should also pay for it."

'A huge blow to the prosecution's case'

In some letters Millard writes about how he is "treated like Hannibal Lecter" in jail, and often professes his love for Noudga — sometimes in pseudo-Shakespearian verse.

He also repeatedly talks about the case against him, and implores Noudga to reach out to witnesses like Andrew Michalski — whom he refers to as a "f--king pansy scared into giving up a true friend."

"If Andrew were to testify that police coached him on what they wanted to hear, before his statement was given, that would be a huge blow to the prosecution's case," he wrote.

"If he knew that his words were going to get me a life sentence, he would want to change them. Show him how he can, and he will change them."

Michalski previously testified that Millard asked him if he should steal a truck from "the asshole or the nice guy," just days before Bosma vanished.

Christina Noudga, 24, has been charged with being an accessory after the fact in connection with Tim Bosma's death. (Court exhibit)

"Andrew is the only evidence of any planning," Millard said in another letter. "He must say he did not hear any planning of any kind. Ever."

Noudga told the court she thought Millard wanted her to talk to Michalski about changing his testimony. She said she never did. "I didn't think it was right," she said.

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 Waterloo, Ont.

Millard and Noudga were put on a court ordered no contact list when Millard was charged with Bosma's murder, but Noudga testified she was not made aware of that until months after the fact.

Protecting credibility paramount, Millard writes

Noudga testified that she received Millard's letters from his mother, Madeleine Burns, and that she also gave Burns letters she wrote for Millard.

There was no evidence presented as to how Burns got her son's letters.

Millard also wrote about "getting our stories straight" in his letters to Noudga, and asked about what she was "willing to do."

"Protecting your credibility, and preparing to give testimony, is how you can help me most," he wrote. "Bringing Andrew back to my side, brings me back from losing, and puts me at a tie. Your testimony though, will be what wins it."

Wiping away fingerprints

The jury also heard Thursday about how Noudga wiped down the trailer containing Tim Bosma's truck under the direction of Millard's mother while it was sitting in her driveway.

Noudga and Burns were at a hotel "having some wine" and "brainstorming" hours after Millard was arrested when they decided to wipe down the trailer, which they both had touched, Noudga testified.

"My biggest concern when we were discussing it was, holy shit, we touched the trailer," Noudga said. At that point in the investigation, it hadn't been determined that Bosma was dead, and there was hope he might still be alive.

Christina Noudga (middle) walks toward the John Sopinka Courthouse in Hamilton on April 27, alongside her lawyer Paul Mergler (left). (Adam Carter/CBC)

Noudga told the jury that after she and Burns left the hotel and picked up cash and cheques from Millard's home, they went to Burns's home where she wiped down the trailer while Burns showed her the areas she had touched. 

They then went back to the hotel, which they had rented to get away from the glare of the media, court heard. The two shared a room that night, but nothing about wiping down the prints was discussed, Noudga said. Instead, there was "more brainstorming, hugging, a lot of crying" and "drinking copious amounts of wine."

Much like yesterday's testimonyNoudga repeatedly said she couldn't recall details about her discussions with Millard, or specific timelines for the night they moved the trailer or The Eliminator incinerator in which human bone fragments were eventually found.

She could, however, remember other details, such as drinking wine with Burns, specific conversations they had, the type of car she drove, and a conversation she had with Smich, in which he said "they're in deep shit."

Passing off a toolbox

Noudga also described how after she and Millard moved The Eliminator, they went to mutual friend Matt Hagerman's house and Millard gave him a toolbox. 

She testified that Millard and Hagerman "laughed and giggled" when they were talking, but she didn't hear what they were talking about.

Hagerman gave a very different account of the encounter when he testified, describing the exchange through tears from the witness box.

CBC reporter Adam Carter is in the courtroom each day reporting live on the trial. You can read a recap of his blog here. 

On mobile and can't see the live blog? View it here.

adam.carter@cbc.ca

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story said that Dellen Millard's mother, Madeleine Burns, helped wipe down the trailer containing Tim Bosma's truck. Christina Noudga testified she physically wiped down the trailer, while Burns directed her where to wipe.
    Apr 28, 2016 3:28 PM ET