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Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Evidence at issue as murder trial nears

June 4, 2005

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As trial approaches for a Lawrence man charged with killing his wife, attorneys are still debating what evidence should be kept from jurors.

Photographs are one of the main categories of evidence at issue in the trial of Martin K. Miller, a carpenter and former Christian-school trustee charged with suffocating his wife, Mary, last July at their home at 2105 Carolina St.

Prosecutors seek to introduce photos from Mary Miller's medical exam, as well as pornographic photos reportedly found on Martin Miller's computer and photos depicting his affair with another woman.

Prosecution and defense attorneys are trying to reach agreement about which photos should be excluded as irrelevant or inflammatory. But at a pretrial conference on Friday, they told Judge Paula Martin they hadn't yet reached an agreement. Miller is scheduled to stand trial starting June 13 and has a final pretrial conference scheduled for next week.

Prosecutors allege Miller killed his wife because he wanted to pursue relationships with other women but believed the Lord frowned on divorce. Police initially said the death wasn't suspicious, but that changed after a coroner found bruising inside Mary Miller's neck.

The couple's junior-high-aged children, who were in the home at the time and testified hearing their mother cry out, are expected to be key witnesses against their father.

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