Dellen Millard has been found guilty of first-degree murder for a third time – in this case, for the death of his father, whose November, 2012, shooting was originally deemed a suicide by police.
Justice Maureen Forestell, who oversaw Mr. Millard’s month-long trial in June, ruled Monday that the 33-year-old Toronto man had committed the “planned and deliberate” killing of his father six years ago – going so far as to set up a fake alibi to fool police.
Wayne Millard was found in bed with a bullet through his left eye on Nov. 29, 2012. A Smith and Wesson .32 revolver was found on top of a shopping bag next to the bed.
It was Dellen who had supposedly come across the body after staying at a friend’s house the night before. But instead of calling police, he called his mother – despite the fact that his parents had been divorced for more than a decade. It was only after she arrived at her ex-husband’s house that 911 was called.
The death was ruled a suicide. But when Dellen Millard was charged with first-degree murder in the death of a total stranger a year later, the case was reopened.
Police realized then that his alibi did not check out, and that the gun had been purchased illegally by Mr. Millard from a gun dealer months earlier. His DNA was on the grip.
On Monday, as Justice Forestell read out her decision, Mr. Millard hung his head in the prisoner’s box. Applause broke out in the courtroom.
This is the 33-year-old’s third first-degree murder conviction after three trials in as many years.
In 2016, he – along with his friend Mark Smich – was found guilty of murdering Tim Bosma, a 32-year-old Ancaster dad who went missing on May 6, 2013, after taking the two men on a test drive of the pickup truck he was selling online.
And last fall, he and Mr. Smich were found guilty of murdering Laura Babcock, a 23-year-old Toronto woman who disappeared in July, 2012 – months after Mr. Millard’s girlfriend found out they had been sleeping together.
Those sentences are being served consecutively, meaning it will be 50 years before the men are eligible for parole. Both have filed appeals.
The Crown is seeking a consecutive sentence in this case as well. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 16.
During this trial, court heard that Mr. Millard had been unhappy about the way his father was running the family business, Millardair Inc. Wayne had recently had a 55,000-square-foot air hangar built at the Region of Waterloo International airport, where he hoped to convert their airplane-storage company into a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) business.
He saw it as a legacy for his son. But Dellen wanted no part of it – and did not want his father pouring their money into a floundering business.
After Wayne died, court heard that Dellen fired the Millardair staff and started to shut down the business.
Outside the courthouse Monday, Crown attorney Ken Lockhart thanked the investigators and noted the verdict marked the end of a long saga for multiple families.
“We’re very grateful for the many people who put in a lot of time, effort and heartache into these prosecutions,” he told reporters.
Laura Babcock’s parents, Clayton and Linda, attended the verdict along with Hank and Mary Bosma, Tim’s parents.
“It’s been proven that not only the Bosmas and ourselves lost a loved one, the Millard family must live with the fact that this heinous individual murdered his own father. We feel for Wayne’s relatives, save for one,” Clayton Babcock said to reporters outside the courthouse.
“For all those out there who believe that the sentence of an additional 25 years to Mr. Millard’s 50 years is too harsh, we say you haven’t dealt with this kind of sorrow. We live with a cloud of sadness and loss over us every day,” he said.
“There’ll be not a day in our lives when the loss of Laura, Tim, or Wayne, won’t be felt.”