An Ontario man accused of murdering a young Toronto woman whose body has never been found confessed to burning “a girl” and tossing her in a lake, a witness told court on Wednesday.
Desi Liberatore said he was smoking weed and drinking peach schnapps with Mark Smich and a couple of friends in 2012, when Smich began rapping about “torching a body.”
Smich then asked his girlfriend to leave the garage at his mother’s home in Oakville, Ont., Liberatore said, and once she left, Smich told his friends that he did, in fact, burn a girl and dump her body and a cellphone in a lake.
“We burned a girl and threw her in the lake. We killed someone,” Liberatore said Smich told him.
“Did he say he killed somebody?” Crown lawyer Jill Cameron asked Liberatore.
“I don’t think he said it exactly like that,” Liberatore said. “He said ‘we burned a body and threw it in the lake.”’
Read CityNews court reporter Marianne Boucher’s updates from the trial below. For a mobile-friendly link, click here.
Smich, 30, of Oakville, Ont., and Dellen Millard, 32, of Toronto, have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of 23-year-old Laura Babcock. The men have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The Crown then played a video of Smich rapping.
In the video, Smich is looking at an iPad with music playing in the background.
“The b—h started off all skin and bone, now the b—h lay on some ashy stone,” Smich sings in the video. “Last time I saw her she was outside the home. If you go swimming you can find her phone.”
Liberatore said he had never seen the video, but the rap Smich performed for him in the garage was “something like that.”
The Crown alleges the pair killed Babcock 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, Ont. The prosecution contends Babcock was killed for being the odd woman out in a love triangle with Millard and his girlfriend.
Liberatore, 21, said he was 14 when he first met Smich outside an Oakville convenience store. Liberatore and a few other friends got Smich to buy them cigarettes. Later, Liberatore said, one of his friends would buy weed from Smich.
After Smich talked about having killed someone, Liberatore said he and his two friends left the garage.
“We were shocked, did that really happen? That must be B.S., there’s no way,” Liberatore told court.
Under cross-examination from Smich’s lawyer, Thomas Dungey, Liberatore said he’s overdosed on drugs about six times and has a foggy memory.
“I smoke myself into oblivion,” Liberatore told police in 2013, according to a police statement Dungey read in court.
“That’s the state you were in, why your memory is so foggy, correct?” Dungey asked.
“Yes,” Liberatore said.
He also said he had been speaking with another potential witness about the case just a few days ago, but didn’t get into details, and he also admitted to reading several news headlines about the Babcock case in recent days.
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Video: Prosecutors argue Laura Babcock was murdered for role in love triangle