Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Art of Defending a Psycho Killer


Of course I don’t know that Dellen Millard is a psycho killer. He has not been tried and convicted of anything. Yet.  Under normal circumstances, it would be unfair to an accused in a case of a revolting  murder to proffer labels to describe him.  But under normal circumstances the unravelling of the investigation into Bosma killing it is not.  The case looks nothing short of bizarre, given that the accused stays silent while his lawyer, Deepak Paradkar, talks awful lot.  Just yesterday, he is reported as saying that he might seek a change of venue when the trial starts in the Superior Court in light of the case publicity which he deems prejudicial to his client.

    There has been TMK  nothing that has appeared in the mainstream media that was in any way intended to harm Millard. What has come out may have been damaging to his defense and of course the press has an obligation to report on such curious coincidences as the suspicious death of Dellen’s father (suicide, reportedly by a shot to his eye) , and the disappearance of a young woman whose last recorded cell-phone call was to the former child aviator prodigy. The latter case gets even more tangled with the latest revelation that her vanishing coincides in time with Millard’s purchase of an incinerator to dispose of dead farm animals. It is also a fact that he owns no livestock.  The emerging picture is beginning to look pretty damning to Dellen Millard.  But that’s no-one’s fault. 

      By contrast, it is Deepak Paradkar who seems well schooled in overstatement and diversions.  In his first appearance as Millard’s counsel before Bosma’s body was found, he declared his client ‘100% not guilty’ of the charges of abduction and theft and added gratuitously that his client was ‘completely in shock’ by the allegations.  Then the charred remains of Bosma were found on Millard’s property.  ‘He is extremely concerned by the escalation of the charges’, Paradkar offered as a way of denying his client knew the ride ended in a homicide.  There is something distinctly unreal about the lawyer’s perception of the situation his client finds himself in.  He described his involvement with Millard  as ‘the highest calling [to defend cases such as this]’ but he seems to be  at a loss to answer the simplest and most natural question put to him after the court appearance on May 15: ‘How did he get himself in this situation then ?  Answer went like this:  ’Gentlemen like him…. and [with] his background , ….don’t know how he would end up ….with other individuals who may or may not be involved in this…’ (Watch the linked clip at ~3:20. Precious !) .

    Obviously, Paradkar either does not understand the gravity the setting or is determined to stonewall the process to hell like the late lamentable Johnnie Cochran.  Neither speaks well of him as a professional.  First, if Millard does not make a full disclosure to him, he should drop the case.  And there is some question as to whether this is what is happening.  If he as a lawyer decides to speak publicly of his client’s innocence he should know the answer to the question: ‘How did an intelligent, unassuming gentleman from a good family who is something of a philosopher get acquainted with the company of degenerate killers ?’  Millard has to tell him that or he can’t defend the charges.  He cannot hedge absurdly on  the point of Millard’s knowing the identity of Tim Bosma’s killer.

     Paradkar’s other mistake is to believe that his talking helps to dispel the misgivings people have  about his client’s silence.  Someone who is innocent of the crime he is charged with but nonetheless has some undeniable connection to it would talk to the police. It is as unnatural not to talk in a situation like this as it is for someone intent on blowing his brains out to do it through an eye-socket.   To say that Millard remains silent for fear that he may ‘inadvertently’ reveal something that could be used against him will not sit well no matter what.  It would have sufficed to state that his client has the right to remain silent and leave it at that.  This of course is nothing compared with the poor judgment Paradkar showed by insinuating there is a ‘framing aspect’ in the case against his client.  Gross ! He should be censured by the bar.  No, the only person creating trouble for Dellen Millard’s defense, over and above of what he has apparently done himself, has been his attorney.

The picture in the inset is a profile from Steam gaming site believed to be Millard.

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