Court refuses to dismiss prosecutor in Lawrence murder case

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court declined a murder suspect’s request to have a change in prosecutors because his son lives in one of the lead attorney’s homes.

Martin Miller was convicted of first-degree murder in 2005 for the July 2004 death of his 46-year-old wife, Mary Miller, at the family’s Lawrence home. Prosecutors say he strangled his wife in her sleep because he was having an affair and wanted to collect $300,000 in life insurance money.

The state Supreme Court overturned his conviction in February, saying the written jury instructions a district judge gave to jurors had been in error, the Lawrence Journal-World reported (http://bit.ly/12zbqAL ).

Miller wanted to have the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office disqualified from his case because his 22-year-old son Matthew Miller, who is a witness in the case, is a friend of an assistant prosecutor’s son and is staying at their home.

The state Supreme Court denied Martin Miller’s request, but it didn’t say why in its Nov. 25 order.

In September, District Judge Paula Martin denied Miller’s request to remove the district attorney’s office. The case was paused in October so his attorney could ask the Supreme Court to order Martin to reverse her decision.

Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson said the case can now move forward again in district court. Miller’s next trial is scheduled for March.

Miller, a former Lawrence carpenter and Christian school leader, posted a $250,000 bond in April. His attorney said earlier this year that Miller would arrange to live with his wife, Laura Cuthbertson, and her father in Paola. They married in 2006 while Miller was in prison.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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