HAMILTON – Tim Bosma’s widow broke into tears and his mother rushed out of the courtroom as one of his accused killers told jurors his version of the events of the night the Hamilton man died.
Mark Smich took the stand in his own defence Wednesday and said he and his co-accused, Dellen Millard, had planned to steal a truck and were going on test drives to “scope out” vehicles.
Smich said he helped research the trucks on the Kijiji and Autotrader websites and that Millard set up test drives with a pre-paid phone.
The idea was to return later to steal a truck if the conditions were right, Smich told the jury.
Bosma disappeared after taking two strangers for a test drive on May 6, 2013.
Millard, of Toronto, and Smich, of Oakville, Ont., have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.
Smich said the plan changed shortly after he got into Bosma’s Dodge Ram pickup with Bosma, a 32-year-old father, in the passenger seat and Millard driving.
Smich said he later got out of Bosma’s truck and into Millard’s Yukon and followed the pair “for some time” before the Dodge suddenly pulled over.
Millard got out and said he was “taking the truck,” Smich testified.
“I got out and I see a bullet hole through the window and Mr. Bosma laying head first on the dashboard.”
Bosma’s widow, Sharlene, began sobbing.
A few minutes earlier, Bosma’s mother had left the courtroom, tears streaming down her face.
“I was shocked. Utter and complete shock. I was in disbelief,” Smich told court about seeing Bosma’s body in the truck.
“I said ‘what the f–k is going on?’ Dell (Millard) looked liked something came over him … I never seen him like this. He looked mad, like a lunatic, like something came over him,” Smich said.
Then, Smich said, Millard told him to change the licence plates from Bosma’s truck with Millard’s Yukon. He said he complied.
“At that point, I didn’t know, I felt like I had no choice. I was scared,” Smich said.
Smich also said he thought he saw Millard put a gun into a satchel he had draped over his shoulder as he got out of Bosma’s truck.
“I did not know he bought a gun,” Smich said, who had earlier described Millard as “kinda like a bigger brother.”
Smich said Millard reassured him.
“(Millard) was telling me not to worry because I panicked,” said Smich.