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UPDATE: Miller found not guilty

 

Miller-James

MILLER

Less than hour after the case was turned over Wednesday morning, jurors acquitted a man on trial for assault and domestic violence.

James R. Miller, 45, was found not guilty of assault of an elderly person and domestic violence following about 45 minutes of deliberations.

A charge of failure to provide care was thrown out Tuesday by Logan County Common Pleas Court Judge Mark S. O’Connor after hearing testimony regarding the defendant’s care for his father.

The fact that Clair Miller, 83, showed no physical signs of assault and that doctors at Mary Rutan Hospital testified the father had not been treated for any type of physical assault while he was hospitalized, likely carved out enough reasonable doubt to force a not guilty verdict.

That the father was physically unable to testify and prosecutors were forced to instead rely on statements made to MRH staff didn’t help the state’s case, Chief Assistant Prosecutor Eric Stewart said.

“Clair Miller told two doctors that he had been assaulted,” Mr. Stewart said. “We tried as hard as we could.”

From Tuesday's proceedings:

A defendant on trial for elder abuse faces one fewer felony charge after the judge tossed one of the alleged crimes, determining prosecutors hadn’t provided enough evidence to support the accusation.  

Jim Miller, 45, now faces a fourth-degree felony charge of abuse of the elderly, and domestic violence, a first-degree misdemeanor. Logan County Common Pleas Court Judge Mark S. O’Connor dismissed a fifth-degree felony charge of failure to provide care after hearing testimony regarding the defendant’s care for his father.  

In testimony offered Tuesday, Mr. Miller said his father ended up laying unconscious on the floor the morning of Sept. 10 after he became angry for having stepped in a pile of cat feces on the hallway floor.

The defendant said his father was upset about the cat waste on the floors when suddenly his face went blank and he fell forward. Mr. Miller said he caught his unconscious father, eased him to the floor and called 911 immediately.

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