GREENVILLE — Kelly P. Miller, 42, of Greenville was sentenced to two years in prison Thursday in Darke County Common Pleas Court.
Miller faced charges of felonious assault and abduction during an incident that took place March 17, where he beat his estranged wife, Hannah J. Miller, with a baseball bat, and held the woman and her 6-year-old daughter captive for several hours at their Central Avenue home in Greenville. He was also accused of forcing his wife to withdraw money for him. He fled the scene before officers could arrest him.
During the incident, nearby Greenville City School buildings were put under lockdown as Greenville Police Department officers responded to the scene. Miller was later arrested and incarcerated.
Miller has a lengthy criminal history, previously facing charges for forgery, theft and passing bad checks.
Darke County Prosecutor Roger Ormsby asked the court to sentence Miller to four years in prison, saying he “put his wife through hell.”
“He broke into the home by force, he lay in wait for her, he ambushed her when she came into the home with her 6-year-old daughter,” Ormsby said. “He struck her numerous times with a baseball bat. He then proceeded to threaten her, he was armed with a knife, he claimed he had a gun, but she never saw a gun, so maybe he made that part of it up. He said he was going to kill her … he terrified her over a period of hours.”
“I think clearly, prison is the only answer here,” he added.
Defense attorney Dave Rohrer said that while his client admitted to many of the acts, he disputed other claims in the case and called four years in prison “excessive.”
“What happened after [the assault] is in very much dispute and I have problems with that,” he said. “She went out, got money out of the bank. My client has never caused harm to the child, never threatened to cause harm to the child. He gave the child a bath while he was there.”
“She had the opportunity to call the police, go to the police, get this whole thing settled, and nothing was done,” Rohrer said.
Miller spoke in his defense, saying, “I’d like to say I’m sorry to Hannah and apologize for everything that’s happened and to the family. I’ve always been a good father to the kids. What happened that day, it just got out of control.”
“I wasn’t there to hurt anybody. I’m not a violent person,” he said.
Darke County Common Pleas Court Judge Jonathan Hein sentenced Miller to two years in prison on each charge, but made the sentence concurrent.
“The felonious assault and the abduction are both serious because physical harm occurred to a family in your house or related person, so those are more serious factors,” said Hein, who called Miller’s risk of recidivism “high.”
Miller is being credited for 99 days already served. He will face three years of mandatory post-release control and must pay court costs following his release.