Murder Trial Begins

By: Marie Luby Email
By: Marie Luby Email

A murder trial begins for two eastern Kentucky parents in the death of their 11-month-old child.

Braxton Jamayne Miller died of a Methadone overdose in June of last year.

The commonwealth's attorney says Karen and Robert Miller showed extreme indifference to their baby's life.

Defense attorneys argue the Millers are victims of a tragic accident.

Karen Miller couldn't hold back tears as she listened to testimony about the last night she saw her baby alive, just more than a month short of his first birthday.

“He was healthy. He was well taken care of,” Attorney Valetta Browne said.

Karen and Robert Miller's attorneys say baby Braxton was part of a loving home, but admit Robert Miller brought home two Methadone pills on June 5th.

”He brought home an addiction he shared with his wife,” Attorney Bill Burt said.

Their attorneys say one of those pills got lost in a piece of furniture. Hours later the Millers took an unresponsive Braxton to the hospital, but he never woke up.

“Using Methadone, taking a Methadone tablet and laying it on the chair in a room with a toddler of this age, manifested extreme indifference to human life,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Darrell Herald said.

Emergency room workers testified that Karen Miller said she'd seen Braxton swallow a Methadone pill several hours before they went to the hospital.

“The nurse asked her, 'are you sure that's what it was?' 'yes, yes, yes, it was methadone.'” Tiffany Mies said.

Karen Miller's attorney says she saw no such thing.

“If she'd seen that baby, if she'd seen Braxton put that pill in his mouth, she would have taken him to the doctor, right then,” Browne said.

Robert Miller's attorney says Braxton didn't seem sick when he went to bed that night. He says the Millers are not murderers.

“The evidence will show that this was a tragic accident. The question will be: what will you do with it?” Burt said.

Several of the millers' relatives were at the trial on Monday.

They didn't want to speak on camera, but say Karen and Robert Miller would never intentionally harm their baby.

Testimony is expected to continue Tuesday.

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  • by kris on May 18, 2008 at 02:02 PM
    This is a sad outcome to an even sadder situation. I don't disagree that there was negligence involved but every year there are 222,937 children < 6 yrs old poisoned in KY. The top 10 substances involved are 1) Personal Care Products (perfumes, mouthwashes, etc.) 2) Cleaning Substances - Household 3) Cough/Cold Products and Antihistamines 4) Pain Relievers (Tylenol, aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.) 5) Plants and Mushrooms 6) Foreign Bodies 7) Topical Ointments and Creams 8) Insecticides and Rat Poisons 9) Antimicrobials (antibiotics, etc) 10) Hydrocarbons (gasoline, kerosene, etc.) I can't help but wonder if the child had ingested something other than Methadone (due to its stigma)if charges would have been brought at all?Also, I don't see anything that indicated these people were "Drug dealers" but there is indications that they may have had an addiction problem or maybe they were trying to stop an addiction & couldn't afford the cost of a clinic? Dont judge till you've walked in others shoes
  • by Amy Location: Jackson on Apr 29, 2008 at 12:56 PM
    i know rober t and karen personally and they were great parents and the ust made a mistake. Heck who dosent make mistakes. I think they go thriugh enough each and every day when they cant see little braxton.
  • by Brad Location: Salyersville on Apr 29, 2008 at 07:41 AM
    This is certainly a tragedy, the only victim here is the baby who is with Jesus now. Wake up America, this is what happens when there are drugs of any kind in reach of children, intentional or not, a child has to be protected from themselves, they do not know any better. I feel for the family, and my thoughts a prayers go out to them and the harsh reality of drug addiction has touched their lives is a terrible way. Help stop the scum of the earth drug dealers and report them to your local law enforcement. We need to stand up and rid this world of the poison pushers.
  • by concern on Apr 28, 2008 at 07:57 PM
    This is a sad case. It just goes to show what drugs can do to a home, to a family. If you truly love your chidren, giving up addiction, should be no question. What's more important, your family or your next high? The question should be hard at all to answer? I hope this causes alot of drug and alcohol using parents to take a closer look at their own self and families? This could be you.
  • by Rex Location: Reno on Apr 28, 2008 at 04:02 PM
    If they are on methadone, enough is said. Send them away or execute them.
  • by melissa on Apr 28, 2008 at 02:55 PM
    In 2005 Methadone is indicated in over 4600 deaths nationwide and this number is underestimated due to an error in ICD10 coding and non uniform procedures in reporting and determining causes of death. Methadone is killing more people than any other prescription drug, killing 2 people for every 100 exposed. Methadone is now the #2 Killer Drug in the U.S.Methadone is more addictive then any other pain medication including heroin and because of it’s extremely long half life, cardio toxic risks, numerous fatal drug interactions, dosages based on tolerance, and small margin of error. Up until Nov 2006 the government and pharmaceutical companies have been suppressing the numerous health and fatality risks related to methadone. We cannot continue to allow a legal medication to be killing more people then the illegal drugs. Our government cannot be allowed to use tax dollars to fund their legal drug dealing operations. Helping America Reduce Methadone Deaths


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