Verdict expected in burglary trial
A verdict is expected today in the armed robbery case of Clifford Miller.
He is on trial for the April 10, 2010 burglary of the home of Portia and Lacrista Duncanson at Sapphire Ridge Road.
Prosecutors allege that Miller was armed with a knife and a pair of scissors when he robbed Portia Duncanson of a laptop worth $1,000. Prosecutors also allege that on that occasion he robbed Lacrista Duncanson of three cellular phones with a combined value of $370, and $80 cash.
Miller allegedly confessed to the crimes during an interrogation by police. However, Miller claims he signed the confession statements after police brutalized him.
The Duncanson’s identified Miller as the armed robber. However, defense lawyer Dorsey McPhee termed the identification “bogus.”
In his closing argument to the nine-member jury yesterday, McPhee asked, “How could you identify a masked man?”
According to the defense’s case, police allegedly beat up Miller in front of his girlfriend Janet Russell.
She claimed that police took her to a room where they were beating Miller, telling her she would “get some of this” if she did not cooperate.
Supreme Court Justice Bernard Turner is scheduled to give his summation today. This is the first criminal trial Turner has heard since his appointment to the bench. He is the former director of public prosecutions.