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Millard and Smich to be sentenced on birthday of murder victim Laura Babcock

Dellen Millard and Mark Smich, found guilty last week of first-degree murder in the death of Toronto woman Laura Babcock, will be sentenced on what would have been her 29th birthday.

The sentencing hearing will be held in a Toronto courtroom on Feb. 12. It follows a seven-week trial in which the Crown argued that Millard, 32, of Toronto and Smich, 30, of Oakville, Ont., killed the 23-year-old in July 2012 and burned her body in an animal incinerator.

The verdict was delivered Saturday. The pair is automatically sentenced to life imprisonment without a chance of parole for 25 years in Babcock’s death.

Millard and Smich are currently serving life sentences for killing and burning the body of Tim Bosma of Ancaster, Ont., in 2013 — something that was never mentioned in front of the Babcock jury.

Tim Bosma

Tim Bosma was murdered by Dellen Millard and Mark Smich in 2013 while taking his truck out for a test drive. (Facebook)

All 12 jurors recommended consecutive sentences for Millard, while only five recommended that Smich receive the maximum parole ineligibility — the seven others made no recommendation.

Justice Michael Code told jurors the consecutive sentencing provision is new to the criminal code and said the final decision on sentencing rests with him, but he will consider their recommendations. The 2011 law enacted as part of Stephen Harper’s so-called tough-on-crime agenda allows judges to deliver consecutive life sentences with concurrent terms of parole ineligibility for people convicted of more than one murder.

Smich’s lawyer, Thomas Dungey, said Wednesday in a Toronto courtroom when the sentencing hearing was scheduled that he plans to challenge his client’s consecutive sentence.

Wayne Millard

Wayne Millard, Dellen Millard’s father, died from a gunshot wound to the head in 2012. His death was quickly deemed a suicide, he was cremated a week later and there was no further investigation. (Rob Seaman)

Meanwhile, Millard who represented himself throughout the trial will retain defence lawyer Ravin Pillay as his counsel for the hearing. Pillay said Wednesday that he intends to fight the bid for a consecutive sentence for Millard.

Pillay co-represented Millard last year when he was found guilty of first-degree murder of Bosma in a Hamilton, Ont., courtroom.

Millard will also be represented by Pillay next spring when he stands trial for a third time. He is charged with first-degree murder in the 2012 death of his father, Wayne Millard, which has originally ruled a suicide.

Millard will appear in court again on Jan. 5 to set a date for the trial, which was originally to be held in March 2018, but now may have to be moved back a month to accommodate Pillay’s schedule.

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