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Dellen Millard to be tried by judge alone for father's alleged murder

Last Updated Mar 6, 2018 at 5:08 pm EDT

Dellen Millard is shown in a police handout photo released as a court exhibit at his trial in Hamilton, on Feb.8, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS.

Twice convicted killer Dellen Millard will be tried by a judge alone for the alleged murder of his father, as Ontario’s attorney general agreed that the man’s previous high-profile trials would make it difficult to find fair jurors.

Millard is serving two life sentences for murdering a former lover and a Hamilton man and burning both bodies in an animal incinerator.

The 32-year-old is awaiting trial for the alleged murder of his father, Wayne Millard, whose death in 2012 was initially ruled a suicide. Given the extensive media coverage of his previous convictions, Millard had requested a judge-alone trial, which was granted.

“In light of the notoriety from other trials and the difficulty getting a jury, this will ensure he gets a fair trial,” Justice John McMahon, the case management judge, said in a court hearing Tuesday.

The first-degree murder trial was scheduled to begin in early April, but has now been delayed until the end of May to allow his recently retained lawyer time to prepare.

Justice Maureen Forestell will preside over the trial, which is scheduled to last about a month, court heard.

Millard and his friend, Mark Smich, were convicted in mid-December of killing Millard’s former girlfriend Laura Babcock, 23, who went missing in the summer of 2012 and whose body was never found.

They’ve also been convicted of killing Tim Bosma — a Hamilton man who went missing in May 2013 after going with the pair for a test drive of a truck he was trying to sell online.

Last week, a Toronto courtroom erupted into a standing ovation after the judge decided Millard and Smich would not be eligible for parole for 50 years, tacking a consecutive sentence for the murder of Babcock on top of the conviction for Bosma’s murder.

After the death of his father in November 2012, Millard inherited a multimillion-dollar aviation business — Millardair — that was initially launched by Millard’s grandfather, Carl Millard, in the 1960s.

Millard, who represented himself at the Babcock trial, had initially said he was going to represent himself for his father’s case. But he changed his mind in January and retained Ravin Pillay, who represented him during the Bosma murder trial.

Pillay asked Tuesday for more time to prepare. The judge agreed to a two-month delay.

“It is important for Mr. Millard to get a fair trial,” the judge said. “I think the proposed schedule counsel has come up with is completely fair and reasonable.”

The trial is scheduled to begin on May 31.