Bond denied for Preston man appealing his conviction

KINGWOOD — Preston Circuit Judge Steve Shaffer refused to allow Kevin Miller II out on bond while appealing his felony wanton endangerment conviction but did agree to allow him to stay at the regional jail for now.
Shaffer also denied defense attorney Lisa Hyre’s motion asking that the defense’s investigator be allowed to talk with jurors from Miller’s trial, and refused to stay execution of the sentence.
A jury convicted Miller in February of two counts of felony wanton endangerment: One for shooting his father in the back and one for endangering others who were present during a 2016 confrontation at his parents’ home.
Senior Status Judge Law-rance Miller Jr. sentenced Miller II to five years in prison on each charge, to run concurrently.
Preston Assistant Prosecutor Megan Allender objected to Monday’s hearing. She said a circuit judge had already rejected Hyre’s motions at an earlier hearing and the proper place to file them now was with the State Supreme Court.
Hyre said Senior Status Judge Larry Starcher put her motions on hold at the earlier hearing until the appeal was filed. Shaffer said now that the appeal has been filed, a stay of proceedings was mandatory, so he couldn’t overturn the sentence.
Hyre also asked that Miller, 28, of Newburg, be allowed out of jail to attend a 30-day inpatient treatment for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in Martinsburg. She noted Judge Miller had recommended the defendant receive treatment for PTSD.
Shaffer refused to allow him out on bond, citing a section of code that says those convicted of using a firearm in violence against another person were not allowed bond while appealing the conviction.
However, Shaffer said Miller can remain at the Tygart Valley Regional Jail until Nov. 5, when he estimated the appeal should be complete before the State Supreme Court. This will allow him to assist his attorney, Shaffer said. After that, Miller is to go to a state prison.
And Hyre asked that a defense investigator be allowed to contact jurors from the trial. She said the Preston prosecutor’s victim advocate had been in the courtroom, during part of the trial, and was friends on Facebook with one of the jurors and attended his church.
Judge Shaffer denied that
motion as “opening a can
of worms.”
“This court is not in the habit of permitting our citizens who are jurors … to be contacted by the parties after they have reached a verdict,” Shaffer said.

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