HAMILTON – The former girlfriend of a man facing murder charges in the death of Tim Bosma says her boyfriend told her that it was his friend — and co-accused — who shot and killed the Hamilton man.
Marlena Meneses says her boyfriend, Mark Smich, and his friend, Dellen Millard, were happy and wanted to celebrate after a successful “mission” the morning after Bosma vanished.
Meneses says Smich had told her he was planning to steal a truck in the days leading up to May 6, 2013, when Bosma disappeared after taking two strangers for a test drive in his truck.
His body was found more than a week later burned beyond recognition.
Smich, 28, of Oakville, Ont., and 30-year-old Millard, from Toronto, have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in Bosma’s death.
The Crown alleges Bosma was shot at point-blank range inside his truck and later his body was burned in an animal incinerator.
An emotional Meneses, one of the Crown’s star witnesses, says she was watching television with Smich when Millard’s name popped up on the screen. The newscast said he’d been arrested in connection with Bosma’s disappearance.
She told jurors she “freaked out” and asked Smich about Bosma.
“He told me that Mr. Bosma was gone, gone,” said an emotional Meneses. “He just said that Dell (Millard) murdered him.”
“Did he say how?” asked Crown attorney Craig Fraser.
“That he shot him,” she said.
Bosma’s widow, Sharlene, broke down in tears in court, as did many other family members. Smich looked straight ahead while Millard stared at his co-accused, looking at him up and down.
Fraser asked if she knew what happened to Bosma.
“I believe (Smich) told me that they burned him.”
When asked why she didn’t go to police, Meneses said she “should have — I was stupid.”
Meneses told jurors she tried to discourage her boyfriend from stealing the truck after overhearing Smich and Millard talking about it beforehand.
“I said some things to try to change his mind,” Meneses said to a packed courtroom. “But he didn’t listen to me.”
She described Smich and Millard as close, like brothers.
“Mark cared for Dellen more than any other person,” she said. “He was in love with him.”
Meneses, 22, said she was really worried about their “mission” to steal a truck, adding that she didn’t hear from Smich until early in the morning on May 7.
“I was very scared,” she said. “I knew that they were going to go steal a truck. I didn’t know if he got hurt or what was going on.”
She testified Smich and Millard picked her up around 8 a.m. the next morning.
“Can you describe the mood?” asked Fraser.
“Very happy,” Meneses said.
“They were just really happy, saying they wanted to celebrate.”
She didn’t say what they were celebrating, except that “the mission went well.”