Court resumes for the third day of the Tim Bosma murder trial at 10 a.m. today, Wednesday February 3.
I’ve replaced my opening statement notes from Monday with the Crown’s full address. It’s a really well written outline of the case which gives a good idea what to expect at the trial, but please be aware it is not evidence.
Greg Jackson looks like a cop. Tall, grey-haired, craggy faced and on the force for 30 years. He was the so-called file manager on the Tim Bosma case. He’s here to give “the narrative” of what happened in the early stages of the investigation, to provide the jury with knowledge of the chronology.
Jackson made what’s known as a “humanitarian request” to get information asap from Tim’s cell provider. It was quickly established that the calls from the prospective truck buyer came from a phone registered to Lucas Bate. Next, the police took steps to see where the phone had been active by looking at tower locations. They also checked the other numbers called by the so-called Bate phone and established that one of numbers led to a kijiji ad for a truck.
Jackson and Sergeant Greg Rodzoniak went to see the owner of this truck, Igor (sorry don’t yet have the spelling of his last name) in person on the afternoon of Tuesday May 7. He said two males had come to test drive the truck and one had an Ambition tattoo on his wrist. Igor drew the tattoo on a piece of wood, marking a border around the outside of the letters. Someone, police or prosecutors, still has that piece of wood.
Identification officers also inspected Igor’s truck but couldn’t get fingerprint impressions. They attempted to lift a footwear impression on the rear driver’s side.
Police also made a humanitarian request to Wind Mobile regarding the Bate phone, looking for the cell phone towers it pinged in the hours before Tim Bosma went missing.
Using Google, Jackson checked into various tower locations and and saw it had pinged a Brantford tower at 10:56 p.m.
The next day, a crime analyst creates a tower and cell phone map for them. They also got more information on the Bate phone which was in Oakville at 7:24 on the morning of May 6. At 5:13 Tim called the Bate phone. At 7:22, it contacted Tim and then again at 9:04.
Meanwhile after discovering they had nothing in their record systems about an Ambition tattoo, they reached out to other police forces.
“You received information from two reliable police sources in Peel and Toronto that Mr.Millard had an Ambition tattoo,” assistant Crown Tony Leitch asked Jackson.
After learning Mr. Millard’s phone number, police contacted Rogers to get details of its recent activity and received a series of tower locations phone had been using. They found the phone pinging towers near his home in Etobicoke at 5:13 and 5:33, in Oakville at 7:59 and 8:13, in Ancaster at 9:02, in Brantford at 9:44 and in Cambridge at 11:48 and 11:59.
“Mr. Bosma was still missing,” said Jackson. “It provided the investigative team with other locations we could check. As well, the phone towers were very similar to the Lucas Bate phone.”
Officers also checked out the address supplied for Lucas Bate and discovered it was a school known as Lakeshore Collegiate. No one by the name of Lucas Bate was registered there.
“We couldn’t identify who it was or identify Lucas Bate,” said Jackson.
Two other officers were also sent to speak with Dennis Araujo, another person contacted by the Bate phone. They were Detective Sergeant Paul Hamilton, who looks more like an Eastern European professor or a watchmaker than a homicide cop, and Detective John Tselepakis. They learned he also had a Dodge Ram pickup for sale but had missed a call from the Bate phone and not reached the caller when he phoned back.
While in the Waterloo area to interview him, detectives were asked to head over to the Millardair hangar and see if they could talk to Dellen Millard. When they arrived they found two men sitting in an office behind the empty reception area. “One identified himself as Mr Millard,” said Hamilton. “He made a comment to the effect of ‘the suits are here’ and he walked out to speak to us.
“He said, ‘let me put this on pause,’ came out of office and closed the door. We continued our discussion. At one point he took a satchel out of the desk in the reception area and put it over his shoulder.”
It was a canvas looking satchel with a brown strap. Igor had described an Indiana Jones-style bag.
“He asked us what would bring us to that particular location,” said Hamilton, who told him it was just another tip that they were investigating.
“What else did you ask him?” says the prosecutor.
“I asked him if it was okay if we had a look around. He said, ‘I thought you were going to say that.’”
When they asked Millard his address, he gave them the address of his farm in Ayr.
“Upon leaving I contacted the investigative team right away and gave them the information,” said Hamilton. “At that point it was decided we would maintain surveillance.”
The two Hamilton cops parked down the road and waited for Waterloo police to bring out the surveillance team.
Leitch asked Hamilton if he saw the man he had questioned that day in the room.
“He’s sitting at the last table in the courtroom with the white shirt on,” the detective replied as Millard raised his right hand in greeting. Hamilton appeared taken aback as did almost everyone else in the courtroom.
Upon cross examination, Millard’s lawyer Ravin Pillay elicited information about the man Millard had been meeting with, who was described as an older white male. He also made the point that Millard had not tried to conceal or hide the satchel.
Mark Smich’s lawyer Tom Dungey had not questions.
After lunch, Detective Tselepakis went over a lot of the same information except when he was asked to identify Millard, the accused did not respond this time.
Next up, witness Dennis Araujo gave his account of his contact with the Lucas Bate phone and the truck he had for sale. He was cross-examined by Pillay’s co-counsel, Nadir Sachak, who established it was a powerful truck good for towing.
Clark Kingswood was witness number five. He had been working as a contractor at the Brantford company Kemira, mowing the lawn when he discovered a cellphone by its fence. “It was covered with a bit of dirt and a bird dropping as well,” he told the court. “It would have interfered with lawn cutting so I stopped the lawn mower.”
When he’d finished his work, he handed the phone over to Liz Rozwell, who was then the production manager at the company. “I cleaned it up,” she explained. Then, since she wasn’t familiar with Samsung phones, she got someone to help her plug it in and turn it on. “There was a whole bunch of dinging.”
They didn’t read all the texts downloading but instead went into the contacts. Rozwell called the number labelled as “home.” Tim’s sister answered, told her not to touch anything and call 911. The police arrived and took the phone, checked video and interviewed Kingswood and Rozwell. There was no relevant video.
Upon cross examination, PIllay established from both Kingswood and Rozwell that the phone was not damaged and appeared, apart from the dirt, to be in good condition and operable. Dungey had no questions.
The final witness of the day was retired homicide detective Randy Kovacsik, who had gone out with Greg Rodzoniak to get the phone and interview the witnesses.
And that was it — seven witnesses at a fast speed after some legal wrangling early in the day.
Back tomorrow for the last day of trial this week. The court isn’t sitting on Fridays due to the expected duration of the trial.
Throughout the trial I will be providing regular updates here on my blog plus the occasional tweet, as I work on my upcoming book on the Tim Bosma case. You can follow my Twitter feed or sign up for my newsletter.
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