☛TS Miller arraigned in Del Norte court
Arcata resident Josiah Miller was arraigned in Del Norte County Tuesday afternoon on charges related to the murder of Michelle Ashlee Dickson, a 23-year-old Crescent City woman who was stabbed to death in July.
According to his attorney, William Cater, Miller pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and arson and waived his right to a speedy trial.
Miller has pleaded not guilty since his arrest on July 24, the day after Dickson's body was discovered under the Thomas Creek Bridge near Brookings, Ore. Investigators with the Del Norte County Sheriff's Office have accused Miller of stabbing Dickson and dropping her body off the 345-foot-tall bridge.
◼ Miller pleads not guilty in Dickson killing 06/13/2009
Arcata resident Josiah Miller pleaded not guilty on Friday to charges he murdered a 23-year-old Crescent City woman and threw her body over an Oregon bridge last year.
Miller, 28, entered the plea in Del Norte County Superior Court, and remains in custody. He allegedly stabbed Michelle Ashlee Dickson to death last July in California, then dumped her body off a bridge just outside Brookings, Ore.
Del Norte County District Attorney Michael Riese said that no plea deal has been offered to Miller, as his preliminary trial was held just Tuesday.
”It's probably way premature to be talking about a plea deal,” Riese said.
Miller's attorney, William Cater, said he would not comment on the pending case.
◼ Josiah Miller pleads guilty in 23-year-old Michelle Dickson's death
An Arcata man pleaded guilty Monday to killing a 23-year-old Crescent City woman and dumping her body off an Oregon bridge two years ago.
Josiah M. Miller pleaded guilty to stabbing Michelle Ashlee Dickson, 23, on July 15, 2008, near Crescent City.
According to Del Norte County District Attorney Michael Riese, Miller accepted a plea deal for voluntary manslaughter, which comes with a sentence of up to 11 years in prison.
Riese said the charge will also require Miller to serve at least 85 percent of the time sentenced. Miller was facing a murder charge, with a special allegation that he used a deadly weapon in committing the act, and felony arson.
In a case that was plagued with jurisdictional questions, a venue change due to media attention and a delayed trial, Miller's acceptance of the plea deal is good news for the prosecution, according to Riese.
”We have no witness, no murder weapon, we question if he had an opportunity to do it,” he said, adding that they would have risked losing the trial without the plea.
”It was something the family had a lot of input on, and it does give them closure,” Riese said.
Dickson's mother Sandy Davis said she was not prepared to comment on the matter, and was “spending time with my family, savoring this.”
Prosecutors allege that Miller drove from Arcata to meet Dickson on July 15, 2008, at a spot on Sand Mine Road, just south of Crescent City, to purchase $850 worth of marijuana from her.
Miller was accused of stabbing Dickson to death and setting her car on fire before driving into Oregon to dump her body.
Never mind they had the blood in his truck, I guess. Too bad.