Autopsy report: Child homicide victim died from blunt trauma

By Joe Beck

A 20-month-old homicide victim at the center of a capital murder case in Shenandoah County died from severe trauma over much of his body, the state medical examiner’s office said Thursday.

The cause of death was listed in an autopsy report issued from the office.

“The manner of death is homicide, and the cause of death is blunt head, neck and trunk trauma,” an employee of the medical examiner’s office said in a telephone interview. She did not give her name and asked that the information be attributed to the medical examiner’s office.

Shenandoah County Commonwealth’s Attorney Amanda Wiseley told Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp at a hearing Wednesday that she had received the long-awaited report in late January.

Wiseley was away from her office Thursday and defense attorney John C. Holloran of Harrisonburg could not be reached for comment on the autopsy report.

Authorities accuse the defendant in the case, Nicole Dawn Miller, 26, of killing Talon Vermillion, the son of Jeremy Vermillion, who was identified in court documents as her fiancée at the time of the child’s death.

Hupp scheduled Miller’s trial for Jan. 20 through Jan. 30. Wiseley is seeking the death penalty for Miller.

The medical examiner’s finding lists injuries similar to those contained in court documents filed by Woodstock police Investigator Derek Good.

Good reported a doctor who examined the victim while he was still alive at Shenandoah Memorial Hospital found “new and old bruising to the entire face and head and bruising to both arms that resembled straps across the arms.”

The boy, who was rushed to the hospital on June 3, died two days later at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville.

Miller has told police the boy suffered his injuries from an accidental fall off a bed or after being pushed by her son, who was around the same age as the victim.

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