Illustration by THE CANADIAN PRESS Dellen Millard (left) appears in court in Toronto.

Dellen Millard’s murder trial hears gruesome details from father’s autopsy

TORONTO — The trial of a twice-convicted murderer heard Wednesday from a forensic pathologist who described the gruesome details of the autopsy of the man’s father, whose death was initially ruled a suicide.

Dr. Jayantha Herath testified that Wayne Millard, 71, had his eyes closed when he was shot in the face at close range — the bullet entering his left eye at an angle and becoming lodged in the right side of his brain.

No one could survive that injury, Herath said. “He would die immediately within seconds.”

Millard’s son, 32-year-old Dellen Millard, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of his father on Nov. 29, 2012. It’s the third murder trial for the younger Millard, who is serving two consecutive life sentences for killing a former lover and a Hamilton man who went missing in May 2013.

Justice Maureen Forestell warned the court before Herath showed graphic images from the autopsy. Gasps filled the courtroom and one woman walked out after a photograph of Wayne Millard’s eye wound was displayed on large-screen televisions.

Dellen Millard, seated in the prisoner’s box wearing a grey blazer with his customary side braid, recoiled at the image.

The pathologist also examined Wayne Millard’s liver, which he said was fatty and inflamed. The most common cause is due to alcohol abuse, he testified, but it could also be from excessive fat in the body or from painkillers such as opioids.

A woman who was dating Wayne Millard at the time of his death previously told court he was an alcoholic, but was working to decrease his alcohol consumption. Dellen Millard also told police that his father was an alcoholic, depressed and stressed out from his recently transformed family aviation company, Millardair.

The coroner ruled Wayne Millard’s death a suicide within two days and stuck with that conclusion in his final report seven months later. Dr. David Evans previously told court that he believed there was a “reasonable chance” Wayne Millard killed himself, but noted it was possible someone else pulled the trigger.

Court has heard that the younger Millard called his father a failure and blamed him for Millardair’s financial woes shortly before his death.

The trial has heard that Dellen Millard bought the handgun found beside his father’s body from a weapons dealer months earlier. He told police he found his father dead in bed around 6 p.m. on Nov. 29, 2012 at the home the two shared in Toronto’s west end.

He also told police he last saw his father alive around 12 p.m. the day before.

Court documents show Millard’s DNA was found on the handle of the gun.

A crime scene reconstruction expert is expected to testify Thursday.

The Crown is winding down its case, with its last witness expected to testify on Friday.

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