Dellen Millard and his employee Shane Schlatman had a nickname for the livestock incinerator in which human bones were found on his farm in Ayr, Ont. — The BBQ.
The jury at the trial of Millard, 30, of Toronto, and Mark Smich, 28, of Oakville, who have both pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Tim Bosma, saw text messages between the MillardAir owner and employee describing the incinerator as a "BBQ" Thursday.
Schlatman returned to the witness box for the second time to finish his testimony after legal arguments.
"Sometimes it would be that, sometimes it would be The Eliminator [the real name of the machine]," Schlatman testified.
Millard, 30, of Toronto, and co-accused Mark Smich, 28, of Oakville, Ont. have pleaded not guilty to killing Bosma, 32, who lived in the suburban Ancaster area of Hamilton.
The 32-year-old Bosma, who lived in the suburban Ancaster area of Hamilton, was last seen taking two men on a test drive of a truck he had for sale on May 6, 2013.
Schlatman was the last employee left on the books at MillardAir in May 2013. He previously testified that most of the work he did for Millard was on motor vehicles.
Several other texts between Millard and Schlatman from late April to early May of 2013 showed that Millard was looking for "the big generator" — the same one that was used to power the incinerator, Schlatman testified.
One text from Millard to Schlatman read: "Generator is not at farm. I recall taking it to the hangar because you needed it (welding maybe?) unless you remember putting back on the BBQ it should be at the hangar."
A text from Schlatman sent on April 28 and found on Millard's phone, read: "Last I saw generator was in corner by incinerator in the barn."
"Do you know what Mr. Millard would use the generator for?" assistant Crown Craig Fraser asked. "I do not, no," Schlatman responded.
'You're not lying, are you?'
In cross-examination, Millard's lawyer Ravin Pillay repeatedly asked Schlatman if he was telling the truth.
"You're not lying are you? You're not tailoring your evidence to suit Mr. Millard?" Sachak asked, to which Schlatman said no.
Sachak also asked about Millard's relationship with Smich, his co-accused. "It was not a situation that every time you saw Mr. Millard, Mr. Smich wasn't there like a puppy?" he said. Schlatman replied that Smich wasn't always there.
Millard's defence also pointed out that Bosma's truck wasn't hidden in the hangar — a common theme in Sachak's cross-examination of several witnesses.
Schlatman testified he saw Bosma's truck at the MillardAir hangar on May 8, 2013, but said at that time, he didn't know it was the missing man's truck.
"[It wasn't] covered, not concealed, not camouflaged in any way?" Sachak asked. Schlatman responded no.
Millard loved off-roading
Schlatman's testimony shed a little more light on Millard's lifestyle. Court heard the aviation heir had a passion for off-roading and had been skydiving. He asked Schlatman to join him, but he declined. "If the airplane's still running I'm staying in it," Schlatman said.
Sachak also asked about why Millard bought The Eliminator. Court has previously heard that Millard said he bought the livestock incinerator to go into the pet cremation business with his uncle, who is a veterinarian. His uncle vehemently denied that suggestion when he testified.
Sachak suggested that Millard hadn't actually planned to go into business with his uncle, but had bought the device with him in mind as a possible client.
"He never said to you 'Listen Shane, me and my uncle, we had a meeting or a discussion. Me and my uncle are going to formulate a business together.' He didn't say that, right?" Sachak said. "Not together, no," Schlatman responded.
Sachak categorized any suggestion that Millard said he was going to go into business with his uncle as "false, inaccurate and downright wrong."