The botched truck robbery that led to the death of a Hamilton man three years ago was motivated by the financial desperation of one of his accused killers, court heard Wednesday.
Mark Smich has testified that it was his friend and co-accused, Dellen Millard, who fatally shot Tim Bosma and burned his body in an animal incinerator.
Smich has said the two friends had been working on stealing a truck for a year, and Millard gave him $200 and some marijuana after the theft of Bosma's truck.
He testified that Millard had also promised him one of his cars — a restored Cadillac — for work he'd done on Millard's various properties.
But Millard's lawyer, Nadir Sachak, suggested the Cadillac would be payment for the theft of a truck.
"I'm going to say it was you who got very anxious and this theft of the truck wasn't happening and you were the one who was getting very frustrated and in that frustration, you say 'I'll make sure I get my payday and get the Cadillac,"' Sachak said to Smich during a third day of cross-examination.
"That is not true sir," Smich replied.
Smich, 28, of Oakville, Ont., and Millard, 30, of Toronto, have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Bosma, who disappeared on May 6, 2013, after taking two strangers for a test drive in his truck that he was trying to sell online.
Millard has elected not to testify in the trial.
Sachak painted a picture for court of his client as a rich heir to an aviation empire who owned numerous properties, vehicles, airplanes and helicopters.
Smich said he was broke, Millard paid him "pennies" for the work he did and said his former friend was "cheap." But Smich denied he initiated the robbery or that he killed Bosma, again saying it was Millard who pulled the trigger.
Sachak also continued to delve into Smich's character, portraying him as an abusive boyfriend. Under questioning, Smich told court he had physically abused his girlfriend once.
"It wasn't like I beat her, just one time I got physical with her," Smich said.
Sachak also read through Smich's criminal history, which included seven convictions.