BULLETIN - A Douglas County jury this afternoon convicted Martin K. Miller of killing his wife.
Jurors began deliberating this morning in the trial of a Lawrence carpenter and former Christian-school trustee charged with murdering his wife.
Attorneys for the state and for defendant Martin K. Miller finished their closing arguments about 10:15 a.m. today.
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Miller, 46, is charged with strangling his wife of 25 years, Kansas University librarian Mary E. Miller, last July at their home at 2105 Carolina St.
"He murdered his wife. He did it," Assistant Dist. Atty. Brandon Jones said in closing. "Hold him accountable. Find him guilty."
Miller's attorney, Mark Manna, told jurors there were reasonable doubts the death was a homicide. He reminded them that there were no bruises on the skin of Mary Miller's neck only in the muscles and cartilage inside the neck and that the coroner did only a limited review of her medical records.
"(The coroner) assumed, because it was conveyed to him by Marty, that Mary was in good health. He needed to look no further," Manna said.
Prosecutors allege Miller wanted his wife out of the way so he'd be free to pursue sexual relationships with other women and so he could collect more than $300,000 life-insurance money. In days prior to Mary Miller's death, they say, he was increasingly in fear that she would discover his four-year sexual affair with a Eudora woman.
Divorce, Jones said, wasn't an option because Miller stood to lose his leadership roles with his church and children's Christian school.
"Murder?... Of course he knew it was a sin," Jones said. "But that was supposed to be a private sin. No one was supposed to know about that one."
Manna, however, argued that Miller didn't have a motive. The couple's finances were tight, but they had always been that way, he said.
Also, Manna said Mary Miller already knew of her husband's pornography addiction and may even have known about his affair.
"He was not living a deep, secret double life as the state claims," Manna said.
The arguments ended a week-long trial that began with opening statements last Tuesday.