HAMILTON — The fate of two men accused of killing Tim Bosma and burning his body in an animal incinerator three years ago is now in the hands of a Hamilton jury.
Justice Andrew Goodman concluded his instructions to the 12-member jury Monday in the first-degree murder trial of Dellen Millard and Mark Smich.
The trial began more than four months ago and heard from more than 90 witnesses as the Crown presented a mountain of evidence.
Bosma, 32, disappeared on May 6, 2013 after taking two men for a test drive of a truck he had listed for sale online. His remains were found days later burned beyond recognition.
Millard, 30, of Toronto, and Mark Smich, 28, of Oakville, Ont., have both pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges in Bosma’s death.
The Crown alleges Millard and Smich planned for more than a year to steal a truck, kill its owner and incinerate their body.
Smich testified that Millard shot, killed and burned Bosma. Millard did not testify, but his lawyer told court that Smich accidentally shot Bosma on a nearby highway in an attempt to steal his truck.
But the judge told the jury to disregard Millard’s version of events because it was not supported by evidence presented in the case.
“There is no foundation whatsoever that the location of the shooting was on Highway 403 and that the shooting of Bosma was accidental,” Goodman said.
The judge earlier explained that both can be found guilty of murder regardless of who shot and killed Bosma if the non-shooter helped or encouraged the act.
“We do not have any reliable evidence at time of death or the actual position of the shooter or the deceased,” Goodman said.
The judge also said that the jury must decide on each of the accused’s fate separately and that either accused may have acted alone.
The jury can return a verdict of not guilty, guilty of first-degree murder, guilty of second-degree murder or guilty of manslaughter.