Jury deliberating fate of accused murderer William MillerPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX -- After 5.5 years of delays and two weeks of testimony the jury now has the case of accused killer William Miller.
Miller is accused of killing a family of five in their east Mesa home on February 21, 2006. He appeared in court Thursday only to waive his right to testify.
“Your honor after consulting with my attorneys I’m not going to testify at all,” said Miller.
It’s the first time we’ve heard from accused killer Miller during the course of this trial. “As far as me waving my appearance it’s nothing new and I’ve planned on not taking the stand in my defense or I guess you could say attending any part of the trial for the past 5 ½ years.”
Miller was then ushered out and the jury ushered in for closing arguments. The prosecution is asking them to find Miller guilty of killing Tammy Lovell, 32, and Steven Duffy, 30, along with Duffy’s brother Shane, 18, and Lovell’s two children Jacob, 10, and Cassandra, 15.
“The defendant was the only one in that house he did it himself but even if there is an argument he paid someone else to do it, even if there is an argument he was there with someone, it doesn’t matter, he’s still guilty of first-degree murder,” prosecutor Jason Kalish said.
The prosecution says Miller first attempted to hire four hit men to kill Duffy and Lovell to prevent them from testifying against him in a 2005 Scottsdale arson case, an attempted insurance scam.
But the defense calls those witnesses liars.
“It’s not reasonable to think if someone propositioned you to kill someone and is not inclined to take it that you don’t go to police or notify the target when you are talking about a co-worker and friend,” said defense attorney Eric Kessler.
But the prosecution says the witnesses were all afraid for their own lives especiall, "after hearing him say over and over again snitches and their families die.”
The jury now has the case and will continue with deliberations Friday. The charges include five counts of first-degree murder and 4fourcounts of solicitation to commit murder, along with one count of burglary and one count of tampering with evidence.
Miller says he does not want to be in court for the verdict or the sentencing phase. If convicted he could be put to death.
Miller is already serving a 16 -year prison term after being convicted in March of burning down his Scottsdale home to collect insurance money.