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Canada Lawyer says Millard too smart to commit crime of killing Bosma

Dellen Millard is shown in a police handout photo released as a court exhibit at his trial in Hamilton, Ont., on Feb.8, 2016.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

The lawyer for one of the men accused of killing Tim Bosma three years ago said his client didn't kill the Hamilton father because he is too smart to commit such a dumb crime.

Dellen Millard's lawyer, Ravin Pillay, said in closing arguments at the first-degree murder trial that his client's actions defied reason for someone who prosecutors allege planned for 15 months to kill and incinerate a human being.

Court has previously heard evidence that Millard's dog, Pedo, was with him the night of May 6, 2013, when Bosma disappeared after leaving home with two strangers for a test drive of a truck he was trying to sell online. His remains were found days later, burned beyond recognition.

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"Why would anyone bring their dog on a planned and deliberate murder?" Pillay asked. "It makes no sense."

And if Millard planned to kill Bosma, he argued, why would he be so cavalier in showing his face to Sharlene Bosma and the couple's tenant?

"That doesn't make any sense," Pillay said in a theme he reiterated throughout the day.

Pillay said it is Millard's co-accused, Mark Smich, who pulled a gun while the three of them were in Bosma's truck.

"The gun went off accidentally," Pillay told jurors in a Hamilton court on Tuesday. "No one would plan to kill over a truck."

Instead, Pillay said, Smich was desperate for money and wanted the payoff of a Cadillac that Millard promised him to help with the theft of the truck.

Millard, 30, of Toronto, and Smich, 28, of Oakville, Ont., have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.

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The Crown alleges Millard and Smich shot and killed Bosma, then burned the body in an incinerator as part of a meticulous plan to kill a human being.

But Pillay said it was simply a "scoping mission" that went awry.

"Mr. Smich pulled out his firearm in a failed attempt to turn this theft into a robbery," Pillay said.

He said Millard was an accessory after the fact to the crime and he helped clean up the killing because Millard believed he'd be blamed for something he didn't do.

Pillay showed the jury a video that appears to show Bosma's truck driving away from the family home, then returning 10 minutes later and finally heading away once more, but this time with what appears to be Millard's Yukon trailing behind.

The jury has seen the video before as part of a forensic officer's evidence.

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Pillay said Millard and Smich parked their truck at 8:55 p.m. that night on a road nearby the Bosma residence and by 9:05 p.m. both were walking up the Hamilton family's driveway.

By 9:15, the three men — Millard driving, Bosma in the passenger seat and Smich behind him — pass by a business just down the road on a test drive of Bosma's truck, Pillay said.

Around 9:20 p.m., Smich pulled the gun he had stashed in the front pocket of his hoodie.

He and Bosma struggled, Pillay said, while Millard was driving. Then Smich shot Bosma, Pillay said.

In the panic, Millard frantically returned to get the Yukon and his dog, Pedo. Then they headed out en route to Millard's hangar in Waterloo, Ont., Pillay said, to dump Bosma's body in the incinerator.

Millard's lawyer said his client panicked after Smich shot Bosma and tried to help his friend with the coverup. He never planned to kill anyone, Pillay repeatedly told the jury, charging that video evidence proves Smich's recent testimony was "concocted."

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Smich has previously testified it was Millard who shot and killed Bosma while Smich followed in Millard's Yukon. In Smich's version, he got into the Yukon immediately after the test drive began and the two drove in tandem until Millard shot and killed Bosma "some time" later.

The murder weapon has never been found. Smich said he buried the gun in a forest in Oakville, Ont., but cannot remember where.

"You simply don't bury evidence that proves your innocence," Pillay said. "You bury evidence that could sink you, and that is what Mr. Smich has done."

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