Prosecutors in the Tim Bosma trial said a series of text messages between the Hamilton man's accused killers shows the pair meticulously planned to steal a truck, fatally shoot its owner and incinerate the remains.
Crown attorney Craig Fraser presented texts to court on Tuesday between Mark Smich and Dellen Millard that show them discussing stealing a Dodge truck, the same one Bosma was trying to sell online when he disappeared on May 6, 2013, after taking two strangers on a test drive.
He showed court one set of texts from April 6, 2013 — just one month before Bosma vanished. Millard wrote about one of his employees, Shane Schlatman, working on a vehicle to help with the pair's mission to steal a truck.
"Reminds me, Shane's starting modification on the white van for search-and-capture missions," Millard texted Smich.
"I love search and destroy," Smich wrote back. "Lol."
Smich testified that was a reference to video games the two played together. Fraser suggested it was a reference to a long-devised plan, more than a year in the making, to find a human being to incinerate.
"It's a reference to a game, a joke," Smich said.
Smich, 28, of Oakville, Ont., and Millard, 30, of Toronto, have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in Bosma's death. The trial began nearly for months ago, and Millard has chosen not to take the stand in his own defence.
Smich has previously testified that killing Bosma was never part of the plan.
Fraser, however, pointed to text messages between Smich and Millard in early 2012 in which they discuss guns and an incinerator.
In one series of text messages on May 28, 2012, Millard writes: "I'm gonna take a nap, I'll reach around 9:30, we go do incinerator, cool?"
"Yo I'm down bro," Smich responds. "I would even say come sooner then that. Then we can chill and talk about other s--t as well."
Smich told court the two were talking about the incinerator that Schlatman built from scratch.
"You had the truck, the gun, the bullets, but you didn't have the incinerator, and now you're starting to get that phase of the plan in place, correct?" Fraser asked, his voice rising.
"No sir," Smich said.
"Why else do you go at 10 p.m. to check out the incinerator with Mr. Millard? To see if you can execute your plan, a year before Mr. Bosma was killed, to make sure it works?"
"It was for garbage," Smich said.
Court has previously heard that Millard ordered a $15,000 animal incinerator — dubbed "The Eliminator" — after the homemade one didn't work. The new incinerator was installed on a trailer for another $7,000. The whole thing was massive, court has heard.
Smich has testified Millard shot, killed and then burned Bosma. He said he only helped clean up the mess after because he was terrified of his friend.
"It's a two-man job. Tim Bosma was six feet, 170 pounds, it took two of you to put Mr. Bosma in The Eliminator," Fraser said. "You have to get up on the trailer, on the platform, then you have to get the body — Mr. Bosma's body — inside."
That exchange resulted in Bosma's widow, Sharlene, weeping in court.
"No sir," Smich said.