Judge Declares Hung Jury

Two Breathitt County parents charged with murder in the death of their 11-month old child will face a new trial after a judge declares a hung jury.

Karen and Robert Miller waited for four hours to hear the news.

“I was just scared and I don't even know, I was just in shock and panicked, I mean, I messed up,” Karen Miller said.

That's what Karen Miller told the jury about why she and her husband initially didn't tell police that they shared a methadone pill the night baby Braxton swallowed a lethal dose of the drug, and why her story changed about how the second pill became lost.

A jury couldn't agree on whether Karen and Robert Miller's actions were criminal.

Relatives of the Millers say it was a horrible accident, and that these parents had nothing but love for Braxton and his five year old brother.

Karen Miller was the only defense witness to take the stand, crying often during cross-examination.

Attorney Darrell Herald: You knew he took it because you saw him take it!

Karen Miller: No sir, no sir!

Attorney Darrell Herald: And you and your husband didn't take him to the doctor because of the state you were in!

Karen Miller: No sir that is not correct. I did not see the pill laying there, I did not see him take it.

The Millers' attorneys argued they thought Braxton might be coming down with a cold when he started breathing roughly, but he took his bottle as usual before he went to sleep.

A decision a new jury will eventually have to make.

Judge Frank Fletcher set a new pre-trial conference date for May 9th.

Police arrested Robert Miller's sister, Rosella Fugate, for tampering with a witness.

Police say she knowingly tried influence an emergency room nurse to change her testimony.

Fugate's relatives tell us she didn't know she wasn't supposed to discuss the case with the witness.

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  • by FindingNormal Location: Louisa on Aug 14, 2008 at 07:32 PM
    If the child had swallowed Draino obtained under the sink the parents would have been chastised for not having child proof locks on the cabinets and that's it. Then they would have been consoled, hugged, and forgotten. Because this child obtained a drug with a stigma the parents are charged with murder. Careless? Yes! Criminal? NO!
  • by Kevin Location: Pikeville on Apr 30, 2008 at 03:14 PM
    What kind of message is this sending to the drug users in this area? It's okay to leave methadone lying around. I know too many people personally who use methadone only as a way to get high, not for help to get off. If the parents truely loved their child, they woud have gave the baby to someone who could take care of it. Usually, children are a way to get welfare. If it would have been an oxycotin, would that make a difference? It shouldn't, a drug is a drug.
  • by easternky on Apr 30, 2008 at 09:46 AM
    It was an accident!! Yeah, they should not have had a pill in the home, but it wasn't placed where the baby could get it. My prayers are with the family.
  • by joann Location: hazard on Apr 30, 2008 at 09:28 AM
    I agree that Justice does need to be served, but I hate to see someone go to prison just because we think they may have an addiction problem. Lets look at it as if it was anything that could have endangered the child and it was left within arms reach of the child. Methadone does not need to be left laying around most definitely, but it also can save lives when used in the way it was intended. When used for an addiction and kept under lock and key it can be most beneficial, but it can also become very dangerous when placed in the wrong hands. This is why it is suppose to be kept under lock and key if you are in methadone maintenance treatment. Again I hope justice is served, but my heart also goes out to the family of this child.
  • by ntheknow Location: Jackson on Apr 30, 2008 at 07:13 AM
    The jury was hung because one of the defendant's family members was on the jury.
  • by jodh Location: jackson on Apr 30, 2008 at 06:00 AM
    So let me understand this, according to this hung jury it's o.k. to just place the drugs where you know the child has access--hey judge please excuse this bunch and retain a competent jury who will lock them away so they can then experience a "good dry-out".
  • by here here Location: pikeville on Apr 30, 2008 at 05:21 AM
    Please, hung jury. Who would vote not guilty and create a hung jury. Do those people have family on methadone too? A child died because its parents were on drugs and then methadone ( drug also ). If they were decent people they would have not reproduced to start with. I cannot help but wonder if they were on drugs during gestation. This child probably did'nt have that great of a chance and alot of people would have loved to adopt a baby boy.
  • by sara Location: lost creek on Apr 30, 2008 at 05:05 AM
    Try'em again and send them to prison.
  • by Chelsea on Apr 29, 2008 at 07:50 PM
    ridiculous. Methadone has no place in anybody's home.
  • by Anonymous Location: Floyd County on Apr 29, 2008 at 06:58 PM
    Let's see... Are we going to show the world that it is alright to murder..knowingly or unknowingly our children? What is this world coming to...Justice for Braxton!!!!!!!!


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