nvdaily.com link to home page

Traffic | Weather | Mobile Edition
      Archives | Subscribe | Special Sections


Local News arrow Courts & Legal News arrow Crime & Public Safety arrow Joe Beck

| 0

Defense, prosecution spar over disclosing witness identities

2013_06_05_Miller_Nicole_D.jpg
Nicole Miller indicted for capital murder (Buy photo)


By Joe Beck

WOODSTOCK -- Defense attorneys Wednesday continued to place a high priority on preventing the prosecution from learning their legal strategy in the capital murder case of Nicole Dawn Miller.

Miller was arrested in June and charged with murder in the death of a 20-month-old boy.

Judge Dennis L. Hupp spent part of the afternoon ruling on several contested motions from Harrisonburg attorneys John C. Halloran and William Eldridge. Two of the motions sought to conceal the identity of witnesses, including paid experts, from the prosecution during trial preparations.

Hupp ruled that the defense could seek funding to pay for expert witnesses in a closed hearing that would prevent Commonwealth's Attorney Amanda Wiseley from learning the witnesses' identities.

Wiseley argued that the defense had to present a specific reason for withholding the identity of the witnesses from her, and Halloran and Eldridge had failed to do so.

"It's hypothetical. It's conjecture. It's speculation," Wiseley said of the defense attorneys' reasoning.

Eldridge cited a state law that allows criminal defense attorneys to withhold the identities of their witnesses by communicating with judges in closed hearings.

"The whole purpose of that statute is to protect us from having to disclose to get funding from the court," Eldridge said.

Hupp delayed issuing a ruling on another request from Halloran and Eldridge, who want to keep their witness subpoenas under seal and unavailable to the prosecution.

Hupp scheduled another hearing for 3:30 p.m. Feb. 26, by which time he hopes to be able to set a trial date.

Hupp said he was puzzled by the amount of time it is taking to receive an autopsy report from the state medical examiner's office. Wiseley and the defense attorneys had no explanation for the long wait.

The examiner's office received the victim's body in early June when Miller was arrested and charged with murder. The victim had been under her care at a Woodstock apartment she shared with a man authorities identified as her fiance and the father of the child.

Wiseley has filed a notice stating she intends to seek the death penalty against Miller, 26.

Miller appeared in court with her attorneys Wednesday and was returned to custody after the hearing.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com


Keep up to date on local news

Sign up here to receive Northern Virginia Daily news delivered to your email box each morning and when breaking news occurs.

Comments

Comments that are posted represent the opinion of the commenter and not the Northern Virginia Daily/nvdaily.com. View our comments/submisssions policy. Report abuse by clicking the X next to the comment.













Local News Sections

Affordable Care Act Agency on Aging Agriculture Alex Bridges Apple Blossom Festival Aviation Basye Berryville Boyce Breaking News Business Charities Civil War Clarification Clarke County Colleges Corrections Courthouse Notes: Permits, Transactions Courts & Legal News Crime & Public Safety Economy and Jobs Edinburg Education Edward N. Bell Election 2012 Election 2013 Entertainment Environment Fairs & Festivals Fire & Rescue Fishers Hill Fort Valley Frederick County Front Royal George Washington National Forest Guest Column Hard Times Health History Holidays Homes In The Spotlight Jeff Nations Joe Beck Josette Keelor Katie Demeria Kim Walter Ledger Livestock Local Markets Maurertown Media Middletown Military & Veterans Moms Mount Jackson New Market Page County Pets & Animals Politics Progress 2013 Progress 2014 Quicksburg Religion Rockingham County RSW Jail Ryan Cornell School News Shenandoah County Shenandoah Farms Volunteer Fire Department Star Tannery State Stephens City Steven A. Boyce Strasburg Toms Brook Traffic & Transportation Utilities Valley 911 Warren County Weather West Virginia Winchester Woodstock Year in Review




News | Sports | Business | Lifestyle | Obituaries | Opinion | Multimedia| Entertainment | Classifieds
Contact Us | NIE | Place a Classified | Privacy Policy | Comments/Submissions Policy | Subscribe

Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily | nvdaily.com | 152 N. Holliday St., Strasburg, Va. 22657 | (800) 296-5137

nvdaily.com
2013 Virginia Press Association Sweepstakes Winner
The Best Small Daily Newspaper in Virginia!


nvdaily.com | seeshenandoah.com