Tim Bosma murder trial jury selection begins
The Canadian Press
Published Monday, January 18, 2016 4:44AM EST
Last Updated Monday, January 18, 2016 4:02PM EST
HAMILTON -- Jury selection began Monday at the trial of the accused killers of a Hamilton man whose body was found "burned beyond recognition."
Tim Bosma left his home on May 6, 2013 to take two men for a test drive in his truck that he advertised for sale online.
Dellen Millard, of Toronto, and Mark Smich, from Oakville, Ont., are both charged with first-degree murder in Bosma's death. Their lawyers have said both men will plead not guilty.
Hundreds of potential jurors went before a judge Monday in the first phase of jury selection, which is expected to last two weeks.
Justice Andrew Goodman said the trial is set to begin Feb. 1 and is expected to last at least four months.
Both Millard and Smich were in the courtroom Monday, each eyeing jury candidates as they walked up to speak to the judge.
"It's a privilege to sit on a jury," Goodman told potential jurors.
"Despite the potential length of this trial, I have no doubt you'll find it an interesting, challenging and worthwhile endeavour."
The case of the missing 32-year-old Hamilton man -- who had a wife and a two-year-old daughter -- and later the discovery of his remains, rocked his tight-knit Dutch community in rural Hamilton and made headlines across the country.
Some potential jurors asked to be excused because of health or financial reasons. The judge excused one man who said his sons went to school with Bosma's daughter, and another who said she had contact with Bosma's family. Both were deferred to other jury panels.
Bosma's parents and wife were not in court Monday.
"The family is grateful for the love and support shown by their community," said Peter Lowe, the Bosma family spokesman.