Each Millard and Smich have pleaded not responsible.
There may be, certainly, no physique. Babcock’s stays have by no means been discovered. There may be, certainly, no indeniable crime scene, for all that jurors have seen and heard about that monstrous equipment dubbed “The Eliminator”.
However there’s a ton of circumstantial proof — tons of and tons of of textual content messages, the GPS sign from Babcock’s telephone pinging off cell towers, placing her in the identical neighborhood as Millard’s telephone on July Three-Four, the interval by which the Crown says Babcock was slain.
There are the eight calls Babcock made to Millard’s telephone, her final recognized communication apart from a message test.
There’s the picture of a rolled up blue tarp which can have contained Babcock’s physique. Hey, may have contained rubbish, Millard advised yesterday, may have contained a rug.
“I’m going to be addressing sure ideas of regulation,” started Millard, placing on his greatest lawyerly façade.
“There’s been opinions of evil, there’s been proof of dangerous character, there’s been a suggestion of different legal acts,” he continued, by no means budging from the rostrum. “I ask you to place these items apart.
“A few of you could not like how I’ve lived my life or handled sure people.”
Irrelevant, he urged, asking jurors to disregard all of that; to discard any assumptions, any inferences, and concentrate on what he characterised because the Crown’s doubtful case.
“The primary query: Is there a dying? Is Laura lifeless? Let’s hypothetically say sure, you then get into the weather of the offense — place, time, technique, how did she die, the place did she die, when did she die? After which there’s one other degree — why?”
Millard in contrast the trial to a dream. “It’s my place that the Crown’s case is one thing like a dream. It appears largely plausible. However a number of the main particulars don’t add up. I imply, issues which can be very important.’’
Basic questions, he stated, which have been left unanswered, and which can be tantamount to cheap doubt.
From goals, he veered off in the direction of the existential. “I’d prefer to ask, what’s an unreasonable doubt? I put that query on the market as a result of that’s one thing that comes out in philosophy.” The philosopher-lawyer-pedant now. “Am I actually right here? Do I exist? Is that this all a dream?
“Standing right here in courtroom, I can see the decide, I can see the jury, I can scent the air, contact the wooden grain on the lectern. To me, past cheap doubt is to be completely satisfied of one thing.”
All this proof is mere flimsy, he argued.
“The Crown has not even bought previous their first query — is Laura even deceased?”
Millard leaned closely on proof from three witnesses who claimed they’d seen Babcock alive after July Four, though the Crown did a reasonably efficient job of discrediting that gentleman’s assertion. Two different witnesses had, on the stand, walked again their preliminary claims.
There was the man who stated he went on a Yorkville bar date with Babcock on July 10, however later, in each police interviews and in courtroom, retracted that; stated he’d mistaken one other lady for Babcock.
There was one other witness who had Babcock as much as his lodge room — she’d been working for an escort company — and put that assembly in mid-July however he couldn’t make certain.
For Millard’s functions, most crucially, there was the daddy of a person Babcock had dated in early 2012, who insisted he’d seen her making a purchase order at a mid-town nuts store in October 2012. Though it may have been in 2013.
On the stand, Gabe Austerweil admitted in cross-examination that he didn’t acknowledge Babcock from the Fb picture police had circulated after she went lacking. However Millard drew the jury’s consideration to the audio of that testimony, by which Austerweil provides: “Right here, sure, it seems like Laura, this shot.” That remark, stated Millard, was picked up by the microphone however hadn’t been distinct when Austerweil was talking.
Millard harkened as effectively to proof from Megan Orr, who testified she’d spoken to her pal by telephone on July Four. Cellphone information, nevertheless, confirmed Babcock’s final telephone name, to her voice mail, was at 7:03 the earlier night.
“Laura should have modified her telephone, should have bought one other quantity,” Millard stated.
Which might clarify why there was no subsequent exercise on her BlackBerry.
No banking exercise both? Why, countered Millard, Babcock by no means used banks, she was strictly a cash-and-carry lady.
That crimson suitcase, together with her identify tag on, discovered at Smich’s mom’s home? Large deal, a “crimson herring”, stated Millard. She might need had a couple of bag and, sure, others recall her — couch-surfing in these months — schlepping round a duffel bag.
The laptop computer that had been in Babcock’s possession, borrowed from an ex-boyfriend simply days earlier than she vanished and which, courtroom has heard, Millard gave to Smich — on it, says the Crown, Smich wrote rap lyrics allegedly a few homicide, on the very evening, July 23, the Crown alleges, that Babcock’s physique was burned — did jurors consider he was actually that silly? “If there was a homicide, if this was Laura’s iPad, do you assume I’d hold it round? Do you assume I’d let Mark hold it round?”
Millard spent lower than 5 minutes addressing the incinerator, which he stated was bought on his household’s firm account for its supposed industrial goal. He likewise unexpectedly discounted letters which he wrote to his then-girlfriend, Christine Noudga, earlier than his arrest in April, 2014. In these letters, an evidentiary landing for the prosecution, it actually does seem that Millard was making an attempt to speak Noudga into bolstering his declare, ought to they ever be questioned, that each of them final noticed Babcock alive in his basement, doing cocaine with Smich, on the evening she disappeared.
Millard did spend appreciable time parsing a textual content alternate with Noudga by which he stated he was going to “harm” Babcock. “Then I’ll make her go away. I’ll take away her from our lives.”
The Crown’s concept is that Babcock had come between Millard and Noudga, boasting that she was nonetheless having intercourse with him, which Millard yesterday denied. (That they had dated briefly just a few years earlier.)
Millard, asserting he actually wasn’t that into Noudga by mid-2012, was on this alternate making an attempt to guarantee his girlfriend of his faithfulness — although he was sleeping with an ex-fiancée on the time. “Is that this textual content actually a motive for homicide or is that this me telling a girlfriend within the second what she wants to listen to?
“That is speak. This isn’t motion. That is merely speak with an upset girlfriend who needs to really feel desired and guarded and beloved.’’
Including: “The Crown is making an attempt to say that, as a result of Christine and Laura are bickering, that’s motive for homicide. I come to you and say it’s not. That’s ridiculous.”
Millard concluded his tackle thusly: “That’s all I’ve bought for you at present. It’s the primary time I’ve achieved this. Thanks for bearing with me whereas I am going via this train.”
Effectively, it’s not like they may rise up and go away.
Smich’s lawyer and the Crown are anticipated to make their closing submissions Wednesday.
Mea culpa: A column final week referred to the arrest of Millard and Smich on April 10, 2013. It was April 10, 2014.
Rosie DiManno often seems Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.