News / Canada

Dellen Millard taps lawyer for sentencing of Laura Babcock murder and trial into father's murder

Dellen Millard is rehiring lawyer Rivan Pillay to represent him at his sentencing hearing and next murder trial.

Dellen Millard goes on trial in spring 2018 for first-degree murder in the death of his father, Wayne. The trial date may move to April 1 from March 20 to accommodate Millard's lawyer.

Hamilton Police

Dellen Millard goes on trial in spring 2018 for first-degree murder in the death of his father, Wayne. The trial date may move to April 1 from March 20 to accommodate Millard's lawyer.

After playing the role of lawyer, Dellen Millard plans to rehire a real one to represent him at his Feb. 12 sentencing hearing for killing Laura Babcock.

Millard also wants Ravin Pillay as his counsel when he stands trial for a third time in the spring — this time for the killing of his father, Wayne Millard, whose 2012 death was originally ruled a suicide.

Pillay was Millard’s co-counsel in Hamilton last year when a jury convicted him of the first-degree murder of Tim Bosma.

Millard represented himself at his just-completed trial where a jury last weekend convicted him and co-accused Mark Smich of first-degree murder of Babcock.

The pair has already received automatic life sentences in both cases, with no ability to apply for parole in the Bosma murder for 25 years.

What remains is for Superior Court Justice Michael Code, the Babcock trial judge, to decide whether he should impose a consecutive or concurrent parole ineligibility period of 25 years in connection with her murder. It is not mandatory that he do so.

On Wednesday, Millard appeared in two downtown courtrooms, first to set a trial date for his father’s murder, which may move to April 1 from March 20 to accommodate Pillay’s schedule.

Then Millard was back in the court two floors below in front of Code, who had urged him to retain counsel.

“I was hoping you’d appear,” Code told Pillay. “It’s important that you be able to assist Mr. Millard.”

In 2011, the federal government amended the Criminal Code to allow judges to sentence multiple murders to consecutive parole ineligibility periods instead of concurrent.

Smich’s lawyer, Thomas Dungey, told court he plans to argue that sentencing his client to consecutive parole ineligibility periods is unconstitutional.

Code noted that issue has already been litigated in the downtown courthouse.

Superior Court Justice Ken Campbell’s decision upholding the law’s constitutionality was a “very, very thorough, well reasoned and well written judgment,” Code said, adding it was “not the kind of thing” a judge of concurrent jurisdiction would likely depart from.

Code also invited prosecutors to make submissions on what he should consider when deciding parole eligibility. For instance, should he consider the bad character evidence presented during pretrial motions, which he excluded from the jury?

And to what extent, Code asked, should he consider the Crown’s theory, not put to the jury because it was too prejudicial, that there was “a larger criminal conspiracy . . . lying behind these two murders?”

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