09/19/2014 04:31 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 01:02 EDT

Tim Bosma murder trial expected as early as fall 2015

Dellen Millard and Mark Smich, the two men accused in the murder of Tim Bosma, are expected to go to trial as early as fall 2015.

Pretrial and assignment court dates were set in a Hamilton courtroom Friday, the first steps in laying out a schedule for the estimated four- to five-month murder trial in a year's time. 

Bosma, 32, of Ancaster Ont., never returned from a test drive he set out on while trying to sell his truck online on May 6, 2013. His remains were found a week later on Millard's family farm near Waterloo, burned beyond recognition.

Millard, of Etobicoke, Ont., and Smich, of Oakville, Ont., have been charged with first-degree murder in Bosma's death. Millard's then girlfriend, Christina Noudga, is charged with accessory after the fact. Millard and Smich have been in police custody since May 2013 and remain in separate jails leading up to the trail.

Since then, Millard has been charged in the murder of both his father, Wayne Millard, and missing Torontonian Laura Babcock — both of whom police believe were murdered sometime in 2012.

Noudga was arrested in April, but the 22-year-old was released on $100,000 bail Aug. 8.

Trial dates to be set in late November

Deepak Paradkar said Friday's court appearances, in which Smich and Millard both appeared by video, outlined early November as the date he and co-defence counsel Ravin Pillay will be formally retained as legal counsel. On Nov. 21, pretrial motion dates will be scheduled for April 2015, and the trial itself will likely be set for the fall. 

Paradkar needed to be retained again, a small formality because the trial was accelerated through the courts, sending it straight to trial, saving what Paradkar estimated as a year in the courts. 

Ordinarily, such cases have an eight-week preliminary hearing. But prosecutors have taken the rare move of going to direct indictment, a move reserved for the most serious cases.