2 Men Found Guilty in 2012 Murder of Laura Babcock

Laura Babcock holds her beloved Maltese named Lacey. Dellen Millard and Mark Smich have been found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of the Toronto woman. (Facebook)

A jury has found Dellen Millard and Mark Smich guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Toronto woman Laura Babcock.

The Ontario Superior Court jury began deliberating Tuesday afternoon and returned their verdict Saturday.

The Crown argued during the trial that lasted seven weeks that Millard, 32, of Toronto, and Smich, 30, of Oakville, Ont., killed the 23-year-old Babcock and burned her body in an animal incinerator.

Babcock’s family and several jurors cried as the verdict was read out, amid quiet cheers from the courtroom.

The pair was automatically sentenced to life imprisonment without a chance of parole for 25 years in Babock’s death.

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.

A sentencing hearing will likely take place sometime in the new year.

Both men are already convicted killers, serving life sentences for killing and burning the body of Tim Bosma — something that was never mentioned in front of the Babcock jury. The jury was also kept in the dark about Millard facing another first-degree murder charge, this one in the 2012 death of his father, Wayne Millard, which was initially deemed a suicide. That trial is scheduled for March 2018.

Babcock was last seen in early July 2012. She has not been heard from since, and her remains were never recovered.

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SOURCE: CBC, Shannon Martin