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Judge denies Millard's mistrial application in Babcock murder case

Last Updated Dec 14, 2017 at 12:32 pm EDT

Dellen Millard delivers his closing submissions at the Laura Babcock murder trial on Dec. 5, 2017. CITYNEWS/Marianne Boucher

A judge has dismissed a mistrial application from Dellen Millard, accused of killing his former lover Laura Babcock.

On Thursday, Millard filed for a mistrial on the grounds he “sustained irreparable prejudice as a result of (co-accused Mark) Smich’s antagonistic defence, and its surprise delivery.”

Judge Michael Code called Millard’s application “misconceived” and said he was not ambushed by Smich’s defence closing. Code said Smich didn’t point a finger at Millard, just at the Crown’s case.

Millard and Smich pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the presumed death of Babcock, who disappeared five years ago.

The prosecution alleges Millard, 32, of Toronto, and Smich, 30, of Oakville, killed Babcock, 23, in July 2012, a murder they had planned for months. Millard wanted her dead, the Crown asserted, because she had become the odd woman out in a love triangle involving Millard and his girlfriend, Christina Noudga.

In his closing arguments, Millard, who is representing himself, said he didn’t care enough about Noudga to kill Babcock and the text was simply a means of placating a scorned girlfriend.

Smich’s lawyer, Thomas Dungey, told the jury that if they conclude that Babcock is dead then Millard was the principal offender — he had a motive and bought a gun the day before the 23-year-old Toronto woman vanished.

Millard says he should have been given advance notice of Smich’s “antagonistic” position from the outset.

The case went to the jury on Tuesday, with the judge reminding jurors to rely on the circumstantial evidence they heard during the trial.

With files from The Canadian Press