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Former friend of accused killer loses composure at Laura Babcock murder trial

Last Updated Oct 26, 2017 at 6:42 pm EDT

David Cronin, a former friend of accused killer Mark Smich, became emotional while taking the witness stand in the Laura Babcock murder trial Oct. 26, 2017 (CITYNEWS/Marianne Boucher)

The trial of two men accused of killing a Toronto woman continued Thursday.

Mark Smich of Oakville and Dellen Millard of Toronto, have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of 23-year-old Laura Babcock, who disappeared in the summer of 2012.

A former friend of accused killer Mark Smich lost his composure on the stand today, after watching a video of Smich perform a rap song about burning a body and disposing it in a lake.

David Cronin, who is now 22-years-old, said “it’s a lot to deal with” as he wiped away his tears. Cronin testified he had heard those lyrics before, five years ago when he and some friends gathered in Smich’s garage, near Old Abbey Lane in Oakville.

Cronin said that on one day in August of 2012, Smich became very serious and said he “killed a girl, burned a body” and disposed it in a lake, then Smich proceeded to sing rap lyrics about the episode.

Cronin did not believe Smich at the time, thinking he was trying to be “a big cool guy,” but that changed the following year.

In 2013, Cronin heard reports of missing woman Laura Babcock, and he started to believe that Smich’s story might have some merit. That’s when he decided to alert police.

The Crown alleges Smich and Millard killed Babcock — whose body has not been found — in July 2012 at Millard’s Toronto home then burned her remains in a commercial incinerator that was found on Millard’s farm near Waterloo.

Today the jury also heard a factual admission that no one with the name Laura Babcock applied to change their name and she did not legally enter the United States.

The murder trial continues Friday with three more civilian witnesses.

Read CityNews court reporter Marianne Boucher’s coverage from the trial below. For a mobile-friendly link, click here.


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Millard, Smich plead not guilty to murder of Laura Babcock
Babcock’s murder trial hears about her struggles with drugs, mental health
Video: Prosecutors argue Laura Babcock was murdered for role in love triangle
‘We burned a girl and threw her in the lake,’ Babcock’s trial hears