Archived Story

Miller’s trial pushed back

Published 2:30pm Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Martell Miller was emotional in court Wednesday as he unsuccessfully argued against the prosecution’s and his defense counsel’s request to again delay his trial.

Miller, one of the five Niles teens alleged to have plotted a sex video extortion scandal, wrote a letter to Judge Scott Schofield earlier this week demanding a speedy trial.

After Berrien County Assistant Prosecutor Steve Pierangeli and defense attorney Shannon Sible requested Schofield to adjourn Miller’s trial for two weeks, Schofield asked Miller if he objected.

“No, I do not want to adjourn,” Miller said, after choking back tears. “This has been going on for a long time. I am innocent and am ready to prove my innocence.”

Miller

Schofield still agreed to push back Miller’s trial to Dec. 13 at the South Berrien County Courthouse.

Pierangeli and Sible made the joint request to adjourn sentencing in order to have time to interview more witnesses and for the prosecution to obtain a subpoena for Facebook messages.

Schofield previously denied counsel’s request Monday to adjourn the trial. But with co-defendant Trey Nichols, who was originally slated for trial Dec. 13, coming to a plea agreement Tuesday, it opened up that slot for Miller.

“Mr. Miller does have a point,” Schofield said. “The people, his family and the community deserve a prompt end to this matter. I expect both sides to be ready to go to trial Dec. 13.”

Miller and his co-defendants are accused of secretly videotaping a then 17-year-old girl having sex with one of them and threatening to post the video on Facebook unless she performed sex acts on them.

Martise Washington was found guilty on all seven charges against him earlier this month, while Leon Murphy, Parnell Martin and Trey Nichols have all reached plea agreements.

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