Double murderers lauded by family and — in one case — a cellmate

Double murderers lauded by family and — in one case — a cellmate

Double murderer Dellen Millard was the world’s youngest flyer when he was licensed at the age of 14.

Millard’s mom, Madeleine Burns, revealed her only child was precocious, reading “globally by age 2, doing instant math and skiing in Lake Placid alone at age 5.”

At age 14, Mark Smich was getting high on grass and crashing at school because he had learning disorders, both reading comprehension and ADHD, which went undiagnosed.

Smich grew up in an immigrant family with a single but hard-working mom. His family says he has blossomed in jail, finishing Grade 12.

The untold stories of both men — now each twice-convicted of first-degree murder — were revealed in character reference letters filed by their families at the Laura Babcock murder sentencing.


Laura Babcock, left, and Tim Bosma were murdered by Dellen Millard and Mark Smich, juries found.

Millard and Smich will be sentenced for the murder of Laura Babcock on Feb. 12. The duo are already serving sentences of life with no parole for 25 years for killing Ancaster father Tim Bosma in May, 2013.

Millard’s cellmate, Achint Ranhotra, who will be sentenced April 16 for second degree murder, also praised Millard and shares something in common with him: He is also facing a life sentence for murdering girlfriend Vilanong Douangphachanh, 26. Ranhotra and Millard were in their respective sentencing hearings in the same Toronto courthouse on Monday.

“Dellen’s perseverance and determination to keep going with his fight with the Canadian justice system has given me some hope,” wrote Ranhotra, 32, who shot his live-in girlfriend in the head.

“Death is inevitable but as Dellen says, ‘Why invite it early and not live it out to see what it has to offer,’” wrote Ranhotra, a former Rogers IT employee,.

“I am a friend of Dellen’s and the outcome of that has been very good. He has been my personal friend since 2016,” wrote Ranhotra.

“We have all made decisions in our life that we regret and some that are unforgivable … I had nothing to lose but to give a fair chance to him to live up to certain expectation of a decent human being in jail. It’s a decision I don’t regret to this day,” wrote Ranhotra.

When sentencing Millard and Smich, Justice Michael Code will decide whether they must wait either 25 or 50 years before getting a first crack at parole.

“We are all very well aware of the fact that we are doing to die in jail. However the number (for a first chance at parole) represents a tiny glimpse of hope that someday this would all be over, but will it?” wrote Ranhotra.

spazzano@postmedia.com 

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