Steve Barbour was a beloved Columbus cyclist. He was a retired civil engineer from O.D.O.T. A long-time member of Columbus Outdoor Pursuits, he had been a ride leader since the 1980′s. He was on his way to lead a C.O.P. ride the morning he was run down and killed by Ed Miller.
I have written about Mr. Miller’s criminal case at some length here, here and here. He was tried in March – focused his defense on blaming Steve Barbour and claiming the cops screwed up the alcohol stuff – and ended up with a hung jury.
In Columbus, a jury was selected last week for his re-trial. Columbus Dispatch reporter John Futty covered the first trial and reported on September 15, 2011 that Mr. Miller had decided to give up his right to a jury trial and plead GUILTY to the “lesser of two aggravated vehicular homicide charges” and to a DUI charge.
Sentencing is November 8. He faces up to 5 1/2 years in prison.
The facts of the case carried some unusual twists.
Miller was out partying that night with Gabe Spiegel – a former Columbus television news anchor and personality. According to news reports of trial testimony from the first trial, they met at 1:00 am at “Sloopy’s Pub” in Hilliard, Ohio, then went to Spiegel’s apartment at 2:30 before heading BACK out on the road to stop in at “Vanity” – a after hours strip club with a “bring your own alcohol” policy.
On the way back from the strip club, sometime after 6:00am, Miller ran into the back of Steve Barbour’s bicycle, killing Steve.
Miller submitted to field sobriety tests, which he flunked, and a breath test which showed a BAC of 0.109%. He challenged the alcohol tests in the first trial. He also spent a lot of time “blaming the victim” in the first trial – claiming that Steve’s bike didn’t have lights [it did], that they were not activated and that Steve was guilty of the crime of wearing “dark clothing.”
The plea deal spares Mr. Barbour’s family the agony and stress of a second trial. I expect that MANY local cyclists will be in the audience November 8 when the sentence is handed down.
Do YOU want to contribute your thoughts on sentencing to the Judge? According to the Dispatch story, sentencing will be handed down by The Hon. Stephen L. McIntosh - you can send your letter to Judge McIntosh at the address in the link, as shown below. Please reference:
State v. Ed Miller, Franklin County Common Pleas Court, Case No. 09CR4797
The “community’s” feelings about sentencing are certainly one thing judges are permitted to consider when crafting a punishment to fit the crime. This is YOUR time to tell the court what you think of Mr. Miller’s now admitted crime.
You can send letters to Judge McIntosh at:
|Common Pleas Courthouse, Courtroom 4B
345 S. High St., 4th Floor
Columbus, Oh 43215