Millard Air employee says he was fired after reporting Bosma truck
Published Thursday, February 4, 2016 6:46AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, February 4, 2016 5:54PM EST
A former employee of a company owned by one of Tim Bosma’s accused killers told a Hamilton courtroom Thursday that he was fired after tipping off Crime Stoppers to the location of Bosma's missing truck.
Bosma went missing on the night of May 6, 2013, after taking two strangers for a test drive in a black pickup truck he was trying to sell online. His body was found a week later, burned beyond recognition.
Dellen Millard, of Toronto, and Mark Smich, of Oakville, Ont., have both pleaded not guilty to first degree murder in connection with Bosma's death.
On Thursday, former Millard Air employee Arthur Jennings testified that the family's hangar was declared off-limits on May 7, the day after Bosma went missing. Jennings told the court that Millard texted all the Millard Air staff that day, saying: "Nobody goes in the hangar."
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Millard told his employees not to show up to work that day due to “airport politics.”
Jennings said when he was allowed back into the hangar the next day, on May 8, he saw a black truck under a tarp that matched the description of Bosma's missing vehicle. Jennings told the court the vehicle's interior had been "pulled out."
"My exact words to myself were: 'Oh my God, could that be the truck?"' Jennings told the packed courtroom.
Jennings testified that he took photos of the truck and sent them to Crime Stoppers the next day, after consulting with his family first.
"I kept looking at that truck and thinking of that poor man and hoping that Dell hasn't gotten himself into something -- I was also concerned for Dell," Jennings said, speaking about Millard.
Jennings said an operator at Crime Stoppers confirmed that the missing vehicle belonged to Bosma. "Please tell us where it is,” Jennings recalled the operator saying.
But, fearing for his family, Jennings didn’t reveal the location.
"I went in shock, walked outside and went inside my pickup truck and vomited," he said.
When he returned to work the next day, on May 10, the truck was no longer in the hangar, he told the court.
Jennings said he was sent on an errand away from the hangar that day, and returned to learn that Millard had been questioned by police.
Millard fired him on the spot, Jennings told the Hamilton courtroom. He later phoned police.
The court also heard testimony from a man who took two men on a test drive in his truck the day before Bosma went missing.
Igor Tumanenko testified that he drove two men in his truck on May 5, 2013. During the drive, Tumanenko said he mentioned that he was in the Israeli army. When the man in the backseat asked what he did, Tumenenko testified that he replied, "You don't want to know what I did there.”
Tumanenko testified that the two men then exchanged a look and that the dynamic in the truck seemed to change. They then headed back to Tumanenko’s home, where one of the passengers said the truck was outside their budget.
According to the case’s statement of facts, Tumanenko later picked out a photograph of Smich as the man in the truck’s backseat.
Another man who was also selling his pickup truck in early May 2013 took the stand.
Omar Palmilli testified that he received a phone call about his truck in on May 3, from a man with a deep voice who was interested in seeing the vehicle. Palmilli set up a test-drive appointment with the man, but missed a phone call to confirm the appointment. Palmilli testified that the man mumbled his name on the initial phone call, and may have said "Evan," "Ethan" or "Avan."
During cross-examination by the defence, Palmilli told the court that the caller did not say, in clear English, the name "Dellen" or "Millard."
Smich's defence lawyer also pointed out that Palmilli did not mention the caller's deep voice or mumbling of his name, in a statement given to police on May 8, 2013.
With files from the Canadian Press
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