CLAIRMONT: Milardair mechanic says he didn't ask about Tim Bosma

News Mar 22, 2016 by Susan Clairmont The Hamilton Spectator

One of the duties of a juror is to decide who is lying and who is telling the truth.

At the beginning of every jury trial the judge gives instructions on how to do that. Use common sense and listen for the ring of truth, the judge says.

Justice Andrew Goodman, presiding over the Tim Bosma murder trial, reminded jurors of that Monday when he said they should use their own judgment when deciding if a witness is telling the truth about things the accused has said.

It must indeed be a challenge for a jury to make sense of testimony such as that which they went on to hear from former Millardair employee Shane Schlatman.

Either this mechanic is the most trusting and naive of souls or his evidence raises unanswered questions.

He claims not to have asked his employer and friend Dellen Millard what happened to Tim Bosma — even after he knew Tim's truck was in the Millardair hangar and even after Millard alluded to the truck in texts and even after police came by asking questions.

On May 6, 2013 Tim, 32, left his wife and small daughter in their Ancaster home to take two men for a test drive of the Dodge Ram diesel pickup he was selling. He never returned. The Crown team believes he was shot inside the truck and cremated early the next morning in a livestock incinerator called The Eliminator at the Millardair hangar.

Dellen Millard, 30, and Mark Smich, 28, are on trial for first-degree murder.

Schlatman identified each accused in court. Smich did not react. Millard waved.

Shown a security video taken inside the Waterloo area hangar at 1:30 a.m. on May 7, 2013, Schlatman identifies Smich, Millard and Millard's dog, Pedo.

A heavy-set man with a buzz cut and goatee, Schlatman was the only full-time employee of Millardair and considered "Dell" a friend, serving as his mechanic for the 2011 Baja road race in Mexico, getting matching tattoos to mark the occasion and inviting Millard to his 2012 wedding. The two communicated "pretty much every day" and he remained a Millardair employee until April 2015 — nearly two years after Millard was arrested.

The two met while Schlatman worked for a car shop. Millard lured him away with a job at Millardair, although Schlatman says he never worked on airplanes — only cars.

In June 2012, Schlatman began researching incinerators at Millard's request. A month later, The Eliminator arrived. Schlatman built a trailer for it.

Schlatman testified Millard told him he and his veterinarian uncle were going into business cremating dead pets. (His uncle vehemently denied this earlier in the trial.)

On May 7, 2013, the day after Tim vanished, Schlatman got a text from Millard telling him not to come to work due to "airport politics."

When he did return on May 8, "there's a black pickup truck parked in the middle of the hangar," he said. Schlatman told court he didn't know anything about Tim's disappearance then. He said Millard told him he bought the truck in Kitchener to go to Baja because the diesel fuel would make for a cheaper trip.

Then this strange exchange.

May 9, at 9:49 p.m. Millard texts "Shaner": "I can't stop thinking about what that family's going through."

10:22 p.m. Millard to Shaner: "I want to take it back, but I'm a little concerned out (sic) how that's going to play out."

10:26 p.m. Shaner to Millard: "Ya thats a tough call man. Have you considered goin to cops? Tell em ya bought this truck but you think its warm"

11:40 p.m. Millard to Shaner: "hypothetically: if this is the same one, I'm in a lot of jeopardy: what truck?"

What family did he think Millard was talking about, asks Fraser.

The Bosma family, he answers, adding he doesn't remember ever talking to Millard about Tim.

Yet prior to that text exchange he already knew it was Tim's truck in the hangar, Schlatman admitted. His father-in-law, Arthur Jennings, had called Crime Stoppers with the truck's VIN and was told it belonged to the missing man.

However, Schlatman never called police himself.

"The Dellen Millard I know is a rich guy," he testified. "He doesn't have to steal a truck. It made no sense to me why he'd steal a truck or hurt someone. He's a nice guy. I would've never connected him with this."

On May 10, 2013 Hamilton Police showed up at the hangar. By then the black pickup was gone. Schlatman didn't say anything about it to the officers. Afterward, he finally asked Millard about the Bosma truck.

"He said he hadn't done anything wrong."

He never asked Millard about Tim.

A few hours later, Millard was arrested. 

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

905-526-3539 | @susanclairmont

CLAIRMONT: Milardair mechanic says he didn't ask about Tim Bosma

Employee’s testimony raises many questions at murder trial

News Mar 22, 2016 by Susan Clairmont The Hamilton Spectator

One of the duties of a juror is to decide who is lying and who is telling the truth.

At the beginning of every jury trial the judge gives instructions on how to do that. Use common sense and listen for the ring of truth, the judge says.

Justice Andrew Goodman, presiding over the Tim Bosma murder trial, reminded jurors of that Monday when he said they should use their own judgment when deciding if a witness is telling the truth about things the accused has said.

It must indeed be a challenge for a jury to make sense of testimony such as that which they went on to hear from former Millardair employee Shane Schlatman.

Either this mechanic is the most trusting and naive of souls or his evidence raises unanswered questions.

He claims not to have asked his employer and friend Dellen Millard what happened to Tim Bosma — even after he knew Tim's truck was in the Millardair hangar and even after Millard alluded to the truck in texts and even after police came by asking questions.

On May 6, 2013 Tim, 32, left his wife and small daughter in their Ancaster home to take two men for a test drive of the Dodge Ram diesel pickup he was selling. He never returned. The Crown team believes he was shot inside the truck and cremated early the next morning in a livestock incinerator called The Eliminator at the Millardair hangar.

Dellen Millard, 30, and Mark Smich, 28, are on trial for first-degree murder.

Schlatman identified each accused in court. Smich did not react. Millard waved.

Shown a security video taken inside the Waterloo area hangar at 1:30 a.m. on May 7, 2013, Schlatman identifies Smich, Millard and Millard's dog, Pedo.

A heavy-set man with a buzz cut and goatee, Schlatman was the only full-time employee of Millardair and considered "Dell" a friend, serving as his mechanic for the 2011 Baja road race in Mexico, getting matching tattoos to mark the occasion and inviting Millard to his 2012 wedding. The two communicated "pretty much every day" and he remained a Millardair employee until April 2015 — nearly two years after Millard was arrested.

The two met while Schlatman worked for a car shop. Millard lured him away with a job at Millardair, although Schlatman says he never worked on airplanes — only cars.

In June 2012, Schlatman began researching incinerators at Millard's request. A month later, The Eliminator arrived. Schlatman built a trailer for it.

Schlatman testified Millard told him he and his veterinarian uncle were going into business cremating dead pets. (His uncle vehemently denied this earlier in the trial.)

On May 7, 2013, the day after Tim vanished, Schlatman got a text from Millard telling him not to come to work due to "airport politics."

When he did return on May 8, "there's a black pickup truck parked in the middle of the hangar," he said. Schlatman told court he didn't know anything about Tim's disappearance then. He said Millard told him he bought the truck in Kitchener to go to Baja because the diesel fuel would make for a cheaper trip.

Then this strange exchange.

May 9, at 9:49 p.m. Millard texts "Shaner": "I can't stop thinking about what that family's going through."

10:22 p.m. Millard to Shaner: "I want to take it back, but I'm a little concerned out (sic) how that's going to play out."

10:26 p.m. Shaner to Millard: "Ya thats a tough call man. Have you considered goin to cops? Tell em ya bought this truck but you think its warm"

11:40 p.m. Millard to Shaner: "hypothetically: if this is the same one, I'm in a lot of jeopardy: what truck?"

What family did he think Millard was talking about, asks Fraser.

The Bosma family, he answers, adding he doesn't remember ever talking to Millard about Tim.

Yet prior to that text exchange he already knew it was Tim's truck in the hangar, Schlatman admitted. His father-in-law, Arthur Jennings, had called Crime Stoppers with the truck's VIN and was told it belonged to the missing man.

However, Schlatman never called police himself.

"The Dellen Millard I know is a rich guy," he testified. "He doesn't have to steal a truck. It made no sense to me why he'd steal a truck or hurt someone. He's a nice guy. I would've never connected him with this."

On May 10, 2013 Hamilton Police showed up at the hangar. By then the black pickup was gone. Schlatman didn't say anything about it to the officers. Afterward, he finally asked Millard about the Bosma truck.

"He said he hadn't done anything wrong."

He never asked Millard about Tim.

A few hours later, Millard was arrested. 

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

905-526-3539 | @susanclairmont

CLAIRMONT: Milardair mechanic says he didn't ask about Tim Bosma

Employee’s testimony raises many questions at murder trial

News Mar 22, 2016 by Susan Clairmont The Hamilton Spectator

One of the duties of a juror is to decide who is lying and who is telling the truth.

At the beginning of every jury trial the judge gives instructions on how to do that. Use common sense and listen for the ring of truth, the judge says.

Justice Andrew Goodman, presiding over the Tim Bosma murder trial, reminded jurors of that Monday when he said they should use their own judgment when deciding if a witness is telling the truth about things the accused has said.

It must indeed be a challenge for a jury to make sense of testimony such as that which they went on to hear from former Millardair employee Shane Schlatman.

Either this mechanic is the most trusting and naive of souls or his evidence raises unanswered questions.

He claims not to have asked his employer and friend Dellen Millard what happened to Tim Bosma — even after he knew Tim's truck was in the Millardair hangar and even after Millard alluded to the truck in texts and even after police came by asking questions.

On May 6, 2013 Tim, 32, left his wife and small daughter in their Ancaster home to take two men for a test drive of the Dodge Ram diesel pickup he was selling. He never returned. The Crown team believes he was shot inside the truck and cremated early the next morning in a livestock incinerator called The Eliminator at the Millardair hangar.

Dellen Millard, 30, and Mark Smich, 28, are on trial for first-degree murder.

Schlatman identified each accused in court. Smich did not react. Millard waved.

Shown a security video taken inside the Waterloo area hangar at 1:30 a.m. on May 7, 2013, Schlatman identifies Smich, Millard and Millard's dog, Pedo.

A heavy-set man with a buzz cut and goatee, Schlatman was the only full-time employee of Millardair and considered "Dell" a friend, serving as his mechanic for the 2011 Baja road race in Mexico, getting matching tattoos to mark the occasion and inviting Millard to his 2012 wedding. The two communicated "pretty much every day" and he remained a Millardair employee until April 2015 — nearly two years after Millard was arrested.

The two met while Schlatman worked for a car shop. Millard lured him away with a job at Millardair, although Schlatman says he never worked on airplanes — only cars.

In June 2012, Schlatman began researching incinerators at Millard's request. A month later, The Eliminator arrived. Schlatman built a trailer for it.

Schlatman testified Millard told him he and his veterinarian uncle were going into business cremating dead pets. (His uncle vehemently denied this earlier in the trial.)

On May 7, 2013, the day after Tim vanished, Schlatman got a text from Millard telling him not to come to work due to "airport politics."

When he did return on May 8, "there's a black pickup truck parked in the middle of the hangar," he said. Schlatman told court he didn't know anything about Tim's disappearance then. He said Millard told him he bought the truck in Kitchener to go to Baja because the diesel fuel would make for a cheaper trip.

Then this strange exchange.

May 9, at 9:49 p.m. Millard texts "Shaner": "I can't stop thinking about what that family's going through."

10:22 p.m. Millard to Shaner: "I want to take it back, but I'm a little concerned out (sic) how that's going to play out."

10:26 p.m. Shaner to Millard: "Ya thats a tough call man. Have you considered goin to cops? Tell em ya bought this truck but you think its warm"

11:40 p.m. Millard to Shaner: "hypothetically: if this is the same one, I'm in a lot of jeopardy: what truck?"

What family did he think Millard was talking about, asks Fraser.

The Bosma family, he answers, adding he doesn't remember ever talking to Millard about Tim.

Yet prior to that text exchange he already knew it was Tim's truck in the hangar, Schlatman admitted. His father-in-law, Arthur Jennings, had called Crime Stoppers with the truck's VIN and was told it belonged to the missing man.

However, Schlatman never called police himself.

"The Dellen Millard I know is a rich guy," he testified. "He doesn't have to steal a truck. It made no sense to me why he'd steal a truck or hurt someone. He's a nice guy. I would've never connected him with this."

On May 10, 2013 Hamilton Police showed up at the hangar. By then the black pickup was gone. Schlatman didn't say anything about it to the officers. Afterward, he finally asked Millard about the Bosma truck.

"He said he hadn't done anything wrong."

He never asked Millard about Tim.

A few hours later, Millard was arrested. 

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

905-526-3539 | @susanclairmont