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Archive for Thursday, June 16, 2005

Defendant’s diary shows marital discontent

Coroner confident of strangulation; son says he heard dad in room

June 16, 2005

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Martin K. Miller felt his wife of nearly 25 years wasn't meeting his needs.

He wanted more sex. He wanted her to appreciate his carpentry work and the work he did around the house. He wanted more communication, and he wanted more fun.

That's the picture that emerged Wednesday at Miller's first-degree murder trial, as prosecutors showed jurors excerpts from a diary the 46-year-old carpenter and former Christian-school leader kept on his computer in late 2002.

"I cannot face the idea of existing for another 20 or more years in this kind of relationship," the diary states. "Because of the strong teaching I received about how much God hates divorce, I decided that I need to stick this out."

Prosecutors say the diary helps show that Miller, a former board president of Veritas Christian School, had a motive to strangle his wife, Mary E. Miller, 46, last summer at their home at 2105 Carolina St. It was one of several pieces of computerized evidence - including pornographic photos and a letter to his mistress - shown to jurors on Wednesday, the second day of trial testimony.

Other witnesses Wednesday included Coroner Erik Mitchell, who said he was confident that Mary Miller's death was a strangulation, and Miller's 12-year-old son, Matthew, who said he heard his mother cry out in her bedroom and heard his father telling her to calm down.

Computer trail

Lawrence Police Detective James Schneider, a computer-forensics specialist, testified that he found the diary while examining a compact disc Miller kept in a hidden shelf built into his homemade computer desk.

Schneider said he found 6,801 pornographic images on the disc classified into different kinds of poses and sexual acts. Jurors viewed two of the images by passing them around the jury box.

Schneider also described finding folders full of pornographic images depicting Martin Miller and his mistress, Eudora resident Carrie Parbs. Prosecutors displayed four photos from the disc that showed Miller naked or nearly naked, which prosecutors said appeared to have been taken by Parbs.

Also on the disc, Schneider uncovered a letter to Parbs in which Miller wrote that God had been leaning on him to cut back on their romantic encounters, at least as long as he stayed married.

"When I am a single again, yours will be the first door I knock on, if you are still available," the letter stated. "I still feel that God is going to work something out. I don't know when. I don't know how."

Coroner confident

Mitchell, the coroner, testified that when he arrived at the Miller home the morning of July 28, 2004, he knew there was concern it could be strangulation. That's because the first officers at the scene had found small, pinpoint bruises in Mary Miller's eyelids that often appear when blood pressure rises in the head during strangulation.

The drops also can be found after a heart attack, Mitchell said, but Mary Miller's heart appeared healthy during an autopsy.

Mitchell told jurors that inside the front of Mary Miller's neck he found something that alarmed him: a 1/8-inch-wide and 1-inch long bruise on one of the muscles. He pointed out the bruise on an overhead photograph and said that, somehow, pressure was applied there that damaged a blood vessel and caused blood to leak into the tissues.

"If I find this, I'm on the horn saying, 'We have a problem,'" Mitchell said. "We need to explain why this is there."

Mitchell said he found another area in the cartilage of Miller's voice box that was bruised. Both bruises seemed especially strange given there had been no effort to perform CPR, he said.

He said it's possible for interior tissues to bruise when the skin shows no bruising.

"We're kind of like luggage. We've got a tough outer covering that covers our soft, gooey insides," Mitchell said.

Mitchell also described finding a series of small, circular, unexplained bruises on the top of Mary Miller's scalp.

Defense attorney Mark Manna pointed out that Mitchell didn't conduct a detailed examination of Mary Miller's medical history. However, police say Martin Miller told them that she was "a healthy woman" and had no serious medical conditions.

Mitchell acknowledged that many signs commonly found in strangulation cases were absent. There were no external bruises, no fingernail marks on her neck, no defensive injuries, and no discoloration in her face.

But he said he was confident the case was a homicide, given what he saw at the crime scene and inside Miller's body.

"You have to look at the whole package," he said.

Son, police testify

Matthew Miller testified that he fell asleep on the floor of his bedroom the night of July 27, then awoke in the night and heard his mother making noises in the next room as if she were having trouble breathing. He testified hearing his father in the bedroom at that time.

"He just said, 'Calm down, calm down. Everything's going to be all right,'" Matthew Miller said.

Matthew, who appeared as a prosecution witness, told Manna he heard his mother crying out between 20 and 25 times during the course of about half an hour.

"Were you scared?" Manna asked.

"Yes," Matthew answered.

"What did you think was happening?"

"I wasn't really sure, and I heard my dad in there, so that's why I didn't go in."

His 14-year-old sister, Melodie, also testified on Tuesday that she heard her mother scream and heard her father telling her to calm down.

Miller, however, initially told police he'd been sleeping on a recliner in the living room all night and hadn't heard his wife scream.

Lawrence Police Detective Jack Cross testified that in a 2 1/2-hour interview with Martin Miller, he said he left his wife in bed about 2 a.m. to sleep in the living room, then didn't wake up until 6 a.m., when he found her dead.

Cross said Miller never told him he woke up to go to the rest room, fell asleep on the toilet, and awoke to hear his wife screaming as if she were having a nightmare - things that defense attorney Manna now says happened that night.

Cross testified that, during the interview, Miller told him he was scared and "blown away" that his children had told police they heard his voice in the master bedroom as their mother screamed.

Testimony is expected to resume today.

Comments

spongebabi_004 8 years, 10 months ago

blakus I totaly agree with you on this one. That is exactly my point the second i heard that he said that adultry wasnt right in the Lords eyes I said "Oh and God says that it is ok to kill so that you dont have to get a devorice." My sister was good friends with Melodie, Matthew, and Mary, and when she heard that Mary had died she started crying. I thought that Marty was a Christian man, although he says he is he would have looked over all the pro's and cons of killing Mary before he did them and I think that if I was him I would have just filed for a devorice rather than Having an affiar(against what God says) Killing(also against what God says) and then Remarying (again against what God says) I think that Marty was stupid for killing Mary, and Melodie I agree with you I can't wait untill this man gets put into jail for the rest of his life.

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spongebabi_004 8 years, 10 months ago

blakus I totaly agree with you on this one. That is exactly my point the second i heard that he said that adultry wasnt right in the Lords eyes I said "Oh and God says that it is ok to kill so that you dont have to get a devorice." My sister was good friends with Melodie, Matthew, and Mary, and when she heard that Mary had died she started crying. I thought that Marty was a Christian man, although he says he is he would have looked over all the pro's and cons of killing Mary before he did them and I think that if I was him I would have just filed for a devorice rather than Having and affiar(against what God says) Killing(also against what God says) and then Remarying (again against what God says) I think that Marty was stupid for killing Mary, and Melodie I agree with you I can't wait untill this evil man gets put into jail for the rest of his life.

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wyandotwoman 8 years, 10 months ago

GOD'S WORD HAS A NAME FOR PEOPLE LIKE MARTIN MILLER "PHARISEE". MODERN ENGLISH WOULD TRANSLATE TO TWO WORDS - "VILE HYPOCRITE". I will let God have the last word on Marty Miller - and his fantasy-island "saddle bagged spank queen". People like this give a new meaning to the word REPENT!

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blakus 8 years, 10 months ago

Martin Miller feared divorce because of the retribution God might impose on him. But committing adultary, thats ok in God's eyes. What a farce.

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offtotheright 8 years, 10 months ago

lol Benny.......I drive by there often, and can't help but look at the house and the crosses.

Satchel, I am not sure what you are trying to say.....I see Mr. Martin as a 'high up on the ladder' COWARD, plain and simple. Christian or not...

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bennyoates 8 years, 10 months ago

Where are all the omniscient experts who were commenting on Michael Jackson's trial the past few weeks? Do they have a verdict for us?

Don't they want to display their analytical skills in regard to this local case? It's got accusations of perversion and there are children involved, too.

I live not far away from the home where the alleged murder occurred, and I thought it was one creepy place even before all this. Now, I wonder who in hell would want to live in, or near, that house and its wooden crosses adorning the yard.

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satchel 8 years, 10 months ago

It is so obvious. It is easy for a Christian to get caught up in the 'image' thing. I should know because i am a believer also.

The church is losing it's ferver to be merciful and loving toward one another, so it is easier to be phony and know all the right answers, than to seek help from a trusted brother or sister in Christ.

To be open about struggles as bad as Martin's would cause one who is high up on the ladder in the body to lose respect. It would be much easier to have your spouse die of 'natural' causes than get a divorce. I know like the back of my hand how this man would have been judged had he exposed his affair, pornography addiction, and divorce. He would have lost every ounce of respect and notoriety in the Christian community. His whole world would come crashing down. He wanted it all with no consequences.

However, there are a lot of Christians who aren't judgmental and do exhibit mercy and love toward others, because they too know of their frailty and how they could get submerged in a lifestyle just like his.

It is sad he didn't have anyone like this in his life to turn to early on. Or if he did, his pride kept him from it.

I believe he did it in order to keep living his double life.

To some, my conclusion may seem extreme, but i agree with the prosecution on this. It is truly sad, I think he did it.

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christie 8 years, 10 months ago

Martin has nothing to worry about. If he's found guilty the judge ( Paula Martin ) will probably give him a slap on the wrist, or perhaps invite him over for a drink? This is the judge that says it's ok for 25 year olds to have sex with 14 year old girls after you get them drunk.

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smitty 8 years, 10 months ago

"But he(Mitchell) said he was confident the case was a homicide, given what he saw at the crime scene and inside Miller's body."

"You have to look at the whole package," he said.

a 1/8-inch-wide and 1-inch long bruise on one of the muscles

another area in the cartilage of Miller's voice box that was bruised. Both bruises seemed especially strange given there had been no effort to perform CPR

first officers at the scene had found small, pinpoint bruises in Mary Miller's eyelids that often appear when blood pressure rises in the head during strangulation

  • police say Martin Miller told them that she was "a healthy woman" and had no serious medical conditions*

Matthew...heard his mother crying out between 20 and 25 times during the course of about half an hour

Melodie...heard her mother scream and heard her father telling her(wife/mother) to calm down

  • "I still feel that God is going to work something out. I don't know when. I don't know how."*

AMEN

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mcoan 8 years, 10 months ago

"Mitchell acknowledged that many signs commonly found in strangulation cases were absent. There were no external bruises, no fingernail marks on her neck, no defensive injuries, and no discoloration in her face."

And was he asked WHY this was? And in what % of strangulation cases do these signs not appear?

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