BOSMA TRIAL: Millard and friends were grown men playing cops and robbers

News Apr 07, 2016 by Susan Clairmont The Hamilton Spectator

It is as though Dellen Millard and his buddies are a bunch of boys playing an elaborate game of cops and robbers.

They seem to love the thrill of it. The fun of it. Making covert plans (as unsophisticated as they are) for their next "mission." Joking around in their texts — replete with smiley faces — as they plot out a "heist." Hiring "lookouts" to run around in the dark with walkie-talkies.

All to steal a Bobcat.

Lawn mowers.

Trees.

For Millard, it is a game of sorts. Like the ones he loves to play online. Or his dismal attempt to race his Jeep at Baja, in Mexico. And perhaps an adrenalin rush, like his skydiving.

But it may leave the jury at Tim Bosma's murder trial wondering just how big the game got.

How deadly.

Millard, 30, and his former pal Mark Smich, 28, are on trial for the first-degree murder of Tim Bosma. On May 6, 2013 Tim took two men for a test drive of his truck, which he was selling, and never returned home. The Crown believes he was shot in his truck, his body then incinerated.

Now the jury knows Millard liked to steal things.

With his head bowed and his voice barely above a whisper, his lifelong friend Matt Hagerman, a 26-year-old bartender with a high school diploma, testified Wednesday about Millard's so-called missions.

In October 2012, Hagerman is spending a lot of time gaming with Millard but also chauffeuring him around, since "Dell" had his driver's licence suspended. Millard texts him late on Oct. 2.

"Need a lookout on a walkie talkie tonight … $50 or credit toward future grabs. Interested?"

Millard plans to steal two riding lawn mowers.

In the end, that mission is a bust. Hagerman doesn't take part and Millard fails to get the goods.

On Oct. 19, Millard starts out by targeting 20-foot maple trees from a landscaper. For that, the texts show, he is willing to pay "$100 to each lookout upon mission success."

"What's the mission?" asks Hagerman at the time. "Must be dangerous if you're paying."

Hagerman agrees to take part.

"I was given a walkie-talkie and dropped of on a rural country road … I would say if there were any cars coming down the road."

Meanwhile, Millard and Smich — also in on the mission — go off together. Later, they all meet up at the Millardair hangar at the Waterloo Region airport to check out the Bobcat stolen that night.

Who was the ringleader?

"It was Dellen's plan," Hagerman says in court.

Of course, games of cops and robbers always include a gun.

After Tim disappears in May 2013, Millard reaches out by text to his loyal pal Hagerman asking him to hold on to a toolbox for him.

Hagerman asks what "toys" are inside.

"Haha full of guns?" Hagerman texts.

Soon Hagerman suspects the cops and robbers game he's been playing with his boyhood friend has become all too real.

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

905-526-3539 | @susanclairmont

BOSMA TRIAL: Millard and friends were grown men playing cops and robbers

News Apr 07, 2016 by Susan Clairmont The Hamilton Spectator

It is as though Dellen Millard and his buddies are a bunch of boys playing an elaborate game of cops and robbers.

They seem to love the thrill of it. The fun of it. Making covert plans (as unsophisticated as they are) for their next "mission." Joking around in their texts — replete with smiley faces — as they plot out a "heist." Hiring "lookouts" to run around in the dark with walkie-talkies.

All to steal a Bobcat.

Lawn mowers.

Trees.

For Millard, it is a game of sorts. Like the ones he loves to play online. Or his dismal attempt to race his Jeep at Baja, in Mexico. And perhaps an adrenalin rush, like his skydiving.

But it may leave the jury at Tim Bosma's murder trial wondering just how big the game got.

How deadly.

Millard, 30, and his former pal Mark Smich, 28, are on trial for the first-degree murder of Tim Bosma. On May 6, 2013 Tim took two men for a test drive of his truck, which he was selling, and never returned home. The Crown believes he was shot in his truck, his body then incinerated.

Now the jury knows Millard liked to steal things.

With his head bowed and his voice barely above a whisper, his lifelong friend Matt Hagerman, a 26-year-old bartender with a high school diploma, testified Wednesday about Millard's so-called missions.

In October 2012, Hagerman is spending a lot of time gaming with Millard but also chauffeuring him around, since "Dell" had his driver's licence suspended. Millard texts him late on Oct. 2.

"Need a lookout on a walkie talkie tonight … $50 or credit toward future grabs. Interested?"

Millard plans to steal two riding lawn mowers.

In the end, that mission is a bust. Hagerman doesn't take part and Millard fails to get the goods.

On Oct. 19, Millard starts out by targeting 20-foot maple trees from a landscaper. For that, the texts show, he is willing to pay "$100 to each lookout upon mission success."

"What's the mission?" asks Hagerman at the time. "Must be dangerous if you're paying."

Hagerman agrees to take part.

"I was given a walkie-talkie and dropped of on a rural country road … I would say if there were any cars coming down the road."

Meanwhile, Millard and Smich — also in on the mission — go off together. Later, they all meet up at the Millardair hangar at the Waterloo Region airport to check out the Bobcat stolen that night.

Who was the ringleader?

"It was Dellen's plan," Hagerman says in court.

Of course, games of cops and robbers always include a gun.

After Tim disappears in May 2013, Millard reaches out by text to his loyal pal Hagerman asking him to hold on to a toolbox for him.

Hagerman asks what "toys" are inside.

"Haha full of guns?" Hagerman texts.

Soon Hagerman suspects the cops and robbers game he's been playing with his boyhood friend has become all too real.

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

905-526-3539 | @susanclairmont

BOSMA TRIAL: Millard and friends were grown men playing cops and robbers

News Apr 07, 2016 by Susan Clairmont The Hamilton Spectator

It is as though Dellen Millard and his buddies are a bunch of boys playing an elaborate game of cops and robbers.

They seem to love the thrill of it. The fun of it. Making covert plans (as unsophisticated as they are) for their next "mission." Joking around in their texts — replete with smiley faces — as they plot out a "heist." Hiring "lookouts" to run around in the dark with walkie-talkies.

All to steal a Bobcat.

Lawn mowers.

Trees.

For Millard, it is a game of sorts. Like the ones he loves to play online. Or his dismal attempt to race his Jeep at Baja, in Mexico. And perhaps an adrenalin rush, like his skydiving.

But it may leave the jury at Tim Bosma's murder trial wondering just how big the game got.

How deadly.

Millard, 30, and his former pal Mark Smich, 28, are on trial for the first-degree murder of Tim Bosma. On May 6, 2013 Tim took two men for a test drive of his truck, which he was selling, and never returned home. The Crown believes he was shot in his truck, his body then incinerated.

Now the jury knows Millard liked to steal things.

With his head bowed and his voice barely above a whisper, his lifelong friend Matt Hagerman, a 26-year-old bartender with a high school diploma, testified Wednesday about Millard's so-called missions.

In October 2012, Hagerman is spending a lot of time gaming with Millard but also chauffeuring him around, since "Dell" had his driver's licence suspended. Millard texts him late on Oct. 2.

"Need a lookout on a walkie talkie tonight … $50 or credit toward future grabs. Interested?"

Millard plans to steal two riding lawn mowers.

In the end, that mission is a bust. Hagerman doesn't take part and Millard fails to get the goods.

On Oct. 19, Millard starts out by targeting 20-foot maple trees from a landscaper. For that, the texts show, he is willing to pay "$100 to each lookout upon mission success."

"What's the mission?" asks Hagerman at the time. "Must be dangerous if you're paying."

Hagerman agrees to take part.

"I was given a walkie-talkie and dropped of on a rural country road … I would say if there were any cars coming down the road."

Meanwhile, Millard and Smich — also in on the mission — go off together. Later, they all meet up at the Millardair hangar at the Waterloo Region airport to check out the Bobcat stolen that night.

Who was the ringleader?

"It was Dellen's plan," Hagerman says in court.

Of course, games of cops and robbers always include a gun.

After Tim disappears in May 2013, Millard reaches out by text to his loyal pal Hagerman asking him to hold on to a toolbox for him.

Hagerman asks what "toys" are inside.

"Haha full of guns?" Hagerman texts.

Soon Hagerman suspects the cops and robbers game he's been playing with his boyhood friend has become all too real.

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

905-526-3539 | @susanclairmont