CLAIRMONT: No love lost between Millard and his uncle

News Mar 11, 2016 by Susan Clairmont The Hamilton Spectator

It is abundantly clear that Dellen Millard's uncle despises him.

Though his words from the witness stand were careful, Robert Burns' tone left no doubt he does not love his sister's son. And that the relationship was strained even before Millard was arrested for first-degree murder.

Though more than 70 witnesses have testified at the Tim Bosma murder trial so far, Burns was the first to show open hostility toward Millard. Even Sharlene Bosma, Tim's widow, exhibited no obvious hatred when she took the stand on the trial's opening day six weeks ago.

Other witnesses seem to have fallen under Millard's spell. His bookkeeper, for instance, visited him in jail and continues to do work for what is left of Millardair, his failed aviation hangar.

It will be a cold day in hell I think before Burns would ever voluntarily be in the same room as his nephew again.

Millard, 30, and his former pal Mark Smich, 28, are on trial for Tim's first degree murder.

On May 6, 2013 Tim, 32, took two men for a test drive of the truck he was selling. He never came home. The Crown intends to prove Millard and Smich shot Tim in his truck and then burned his remains in a livestock incinerator called The Eliminator.

As Burns walked into the courtroom Thursday, the 53-year-old Vaughan veterinarian took one brief sideways glance at Millard, who in turn followed his uncle's every move with a smirk on his face.

Though his actual testimony was quite short, Burns' turn on the stand was extended by several objections from Ravin Pillay, Millard's lead lawyer, which sent the jury out of the room each time.

Millard is the son of Madeleine Burns, Robert's sister, and Wayne Millard, who is now deceased.

Or as Burns coldly puts it: "He's my sister's son. Biologically, I am his uncle."

With a sneer in his voice, Burns — who is married with six children — told the court he has known Millard "sporadically" throughout his life. When his nephew was a child between the ages of three and 15, Burns tried to spend lots of time with him because his parents split up. (They later reunited, court heard.) From ages 15 to 17, he maintained contact with his nephew for "altruistic reasons."

Millard was interested in computers, so Burns introduced him to a neighbouring business owner, Charles Dubien, who had a computer company. Later, Dubien would relay to Burns a conversation he'd had with Millard. Millard told him he had purchased a pet incinerator and that he and his uncle were going into the pet cremation business together.

Burns emphatically told the court he "never" had such a plan with Millard "or his entourage."

"I was absolutely blown away to hear that," he said, adding he had never heard of an "Eliminator" before.

Not only did Burns not aspire to run such a business, but he had only the most tenuous connection to Millard by then.

Millard brought his girlfriend's cats to his uncle for care, court heard and once he brought a "Mexican street dog" he rescued during a trip to Mexico in for deworming. A small, beige, mixed-breed dog not unlike one seen in a seized security video from Millardair.

That appointment for the dog was July 2012 and turned out to be the last time the uncle and nephew ever saw each other until the courtroom.

Burns called their relationship "distant."

So distant, in fact, that at Easter 2013 — just before Tim's murder — Millard called his uncle's vet practice asking for his personal phone number because he didn't have it.

When asked by assistant Crown attorney Tony Leitch if he had ever been to the Millardair hangar, Burns haughtily replied: "I have never been to his hangar, nor have I been invited."

Pillay asked for some time to consider his cross-examination of Burns but in the end, chose not to ask him anything.

Perhaps recognizing that nothing Burns could likely say about his nephew would be good.

Susan Clairmont’s commentary appears regularly in The Spectator. sclairmont@thespec.com

905-526-3539 | @susanclairmont

CLAIRMONT: No love lost between Millard and his uncle

News Mar 11, 2016 by Susan Clairmont The Hamilton Spectator

It is abundantly clear that Dellen Millard's uncle despises him.

Though his words from the witness stand were careful, Robert Burns' tone left no doubt he does not love his sister's son. And that the relationship was strained even before Millard was arrested for first-degree murder.

Though more than 70 witnesses have testified at the Tim Bosma murder trial so far, Burns was the first to show open hostility toward Millard. Even Sharlene Bosma, Tim's widow, exhibited no obvious hatred when she took the stand on the trial's opening day six weeks ago.

Other witnesses seem to have fallen under Millard's spell. His bookkeeper, for instance, visited him in jail and continues to do work for what is left of Millardair, his failed aviation hangar.

It will be a cold day in hell I think before Burns would ever voluntarily be in the same room as his nephew again.

Millard, 30, and his former pal Mark Smich, 28, are on trial for Tim's first degree murder.

On May 6, 2013 Tim, 32, took two men for a test drive of the truck he was selling. He never came home. The Crown intends to prove Millard and Smich shot Tim in his truck and then burned his remains in a livestock incinerator called The Eliminator.

As Burns walked into the courtroom Thursday, the 53-year-old Vaughan veterinarian took one brief sideways glance at Millard, who in turn followed his uncle's every move with a smirk on his face.

Though his actual testimony was quite short, Burns' turn on the stand was extended by several objections from Ravin Pillay, Millard's lead lawyer, which sent the jury out of the room each time.

Millard is the son of Madeleine Burns, Robert's sister, and Wayne Millard, who is now deceased.

Or as Burns coldly puts it: "He's my sister's son. Biologically, I am his uncle."

With a sneer in his voice, Burns — who is married with six children — told the court he has known Millard "sporadically" throughout his life. When his nephew was a child between the ages of three and 15, Burns tried to spend lots of time with him because his parents split up. (They later reunited, court heard.) From ages 15 to 17, he maintained contact with his nephew for "altruistic reasons."

Millard was interested in computers, so Burns introduced him to a neighbouring business owner, Charles Dubien, who had a computer company. Later, Dubien would relay to Burns a conversation he'd had with Millard. Millard told him he had purchased a pet incinerator and that he and his uncle were going into the pet cremation business together.

Burns emphatically told the court he "never" had such a plan with Millard "or his entourage."

"I was absolutely blown away to hear that," he said, adding he had never heard of an "Eliminator" before.

Not only did Burns not aspire to run such a business, but he had only the most tenuous connection to Millard by then.

Millard brought his girlfriend's cats to his uncle for care, court heard and once he brought a "Mexican street dog" he rescued during a trip to Mexico in for deworming. A small, beige, mixed-breed dog not unlike one seen in a seized security video from Millardair.

That appointment for the dog was July 2012 and turned out to be the last time the uncle and nephew ever saw each other until the courtroom.

Burns called their relationship "distant."

So distant, in fact, that at Easter 2013 — just before Tim's murder — Millard called his uncle's vet practice asking for his personal phone number because he didn't have it.

When asked by assistant Crown attorney Tony Leitch if he had ever been to the Millardair hangar, Burns haughtily replied: "I have never been to his hangar, nor have I been invited."

Pillay asked for some time to consider his cross-examination of Burns but in the end, chose not to ask him anything.

Perhaps recognizing that nothing Burns could likely say about his nephew would be good.

Susan Clairmont’s commentary appears regularly in The Spectator. sclairmont@thespec.com

905-526-3539 | @susanclairmont

CLAIRMONT: No love lost between Millard and his uncle

News Mar 11, 2016 by Susan Clairmont The Hamilton Spectator

It is abundantly clear that Dellen Millard's uncle despises him.

Though his words from the witness stand were careful, Robert Burns' tone left no doubt he does not love his sister's son. And that the relationship was strained even before Millard was arrested for first-degree murder.

Though more than 70 witnesses have testified at the Tim Bosma murder trial so far, Burns was the first to show open hostility toward Millard. Even Sharlene Bosma, Tim's widow, exhibited no obvious hatred when she took the stand on the trial's opening day six weeks ago.

Other witnesses seem to have fallen under Millard's spell. His bookkeeper, for instance, visited him in jail and continues to do work for what is left of Millardair, his failed aviation hangar.

It will be a cold day in hell I think before Burns would ever voluntarily be in the same room as his nephew again.

Millard, 30, and his former pal Mark Smich, 28, are on trial for Tim's first degree murder.

On May 6, 2013 Tim, 32, took two men for a test drive of the truck he was selling. He never came home. The Crown intends to prove Millard and Smich shot Tim in his truck and then burned his remains in a livestock incinerator called The Eliminator.

As Burns walked into the courtroom Thursday, the 53-year-old Vaughan veterinarian took one brief sideways glance at Millard, who in turn followed his uncle's every move with a smirk on his face.

Though his actual testimony was quite short, Burns' turn on the stand was extended by several objections from Ravin Pillay, Millard's lead lawyer, which sent the jury out of the room each time.

Millard is the son of Madeleine Burns, Robert's sister, and Wayne Millard, who is now deceased.

Or as Burns coldly puts it: "He's my sister's son. Biologically, I am his uncle."

With a sneer in his voice, Burns — who is married with six children — told the court he has known Millard "sporadically" throughout his life. When his nephew was a child between the ages of three and 15, Burns tried to spend lots of time with him because his parents split up. (They later reunited, court heard.) From ages 15 to 17, he maintained contact with his nephew for "altruistic reasons."

Millard was interested in computers, so Burns introduced him to a neighbouring business owner, Charles Dubien, who had a computer company. Later, Dubien would relay to Burns a conversation he'd had with Millard. Millard told him he had purchased a pet incinerator and that he and his uncle were going into the pet cremation business together.

Burns emphatically told the court he "never" had such a plan with Millard "or his entourage."

"I was absolutely blown away to hear that," he said, adding he had never heard of an "Eliminator" before.

Not only did Burns not aspire to run such a business, but he had only the most tenuous connection to Millard by then.

Millard brought his girlfriend's cats to his uncle for care, court heard and once he brought a "Mexican street dog" he rescued during a trip to Mexico in for deworming. A small, beige, mixed-breed dog not unlike one seen in a seized security video from Millardair.

That appointment for the dog was July 2012 and turned out to be the last time the uncle and nephew ever saw each other until the courtroom.

Burns called their relationship "distant."

So distant, in fact, that at Easter 2013 — just before Tim's murder — Millard called his uncle's vet practice asking for his personal phone number because he didn't have it.

When asked by assistant Crown attorney Tony Leitch if he had ever been to the Millardair hangar, Burns haughtily replied: "I have never been to his hangar, nor have I been invited."

Pillay asked for some time to consider his cross-examination of Burns but in the end, chose not to ask him anything.

Perhaps recognizing that nothing Burns could likely say about his nephew would be good.

Susan Clairmont’s commentary appears regularly in The Spectator. sclairmont@thespec.com

905-526-3539 | @susanclairmont