Maybe that title’s a little harsh – although Ed Miller DID plead guilty to being drunk while driving and DID plead guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide- killing Steve Barbour while driving drunk. But, where is he now?
Well, he’s back on the street after serving a little over one year of his three year sentence.
Ed Miller is the fellow who killed popular Columbus cyclist Steve Barbour back on July 18. 2009 – doesn’t seem that long ago. I wrote a good bit about the case. The facts were grim and painful. Ed Miller and his buddy were out for a Friday night of drinking and debauchery at an all night, “BYOB” strip club. Around 6 am, as they were coming home, Steve Barbour was on his way to lead a ride for Columbus Outdoor Pursuits. Miller ran into Steve Barbour, killing him.
The case came to trial in 2011 and generated a huge uptick in anti-cyclist rhetoric. After commenting extensively on numerous stories, the Dispatch asked me to write an Op-Ed piece. Miller’s first trial ended in a hung jury. Before the second trial he agreed to plead guilty.
On September 14, 2011 Mr. Miller plead guilty to Count 2: Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, and Count 3: OVI. He was subject to a possible 5 year sentence on Count 2 and a six month sentence on count 3. The judge gave him 3 years on Count 2 and 6 months on Count 3, to be served concurrently – meaning at the same time. He was taken away from the sentencing hearing in handcuffs on November 8, 2011 to serve his sentence.
Fast forward to February 2014. In Cincinnati, Todd Shaw is accused of killing cyclist Fred Carey. Police allege alcohol is a factor. Mr. Shaw chose the coward’s way – running from the scene and leaving Mr. Carey to die in the weeds… In 2013, Columbus Dispatch bicycle blog write Steve Wartenberg was struck by a hit/run motorist. In Delaware County, Mary Paul struck and killed Bob Lennon – then left the scene, lied about it and tried to cover it up. On the day Ms. Paul is sentenced to 4.5 years in prison, Mr. Shaw is hit with a $500,000 bond, meaning he’ll likely enjoy jail food as he awaits trial.
What does this have to do with Ed Miller? Well, some Facebook commentary got me thinking about Steve Barbour and Mr. Miller. I wrote back in 2011 about Mr. Miller’s sentence, but never followed up… until today.
Sure enough… Mr. Miller filed a Motion for “Judicial Release” in October 2012 – less than a year into his three year sentence. This used to be known as a motion fro “shock probation” but that dilapidated phrasing is out the window now in favor of the new and less startling “judicial release.” In his Motion, Mr. Miller claims to have been a good boy in prison – making his bed and whatnot – not getting into any fights. He also claims to feel “real bad” about killing Steve Barbour – OK, he didn’t really SAY “real bad” in his motion… that may have been a slight bit of editorial liberty on my end… nonetheless, he claims he’s working two jobs, including the prison library, and is helping fellow felons get their GED and “build their online resumes…”
Mr. Miller claims that “not a minute” passes that he doesn’t feel “regret, sorrow, shame guilt” and claims that if released he go forth into the world a New Man, “…committed to sobriety and committed to educating others about his mistake…”
The prosecution filed a cursory response with what appears to be some stock arguments against such a release and a brief paragraph about this case.
The trial court GRANTED Mr. Miller’s request for early release from prison and he was let back into society in January 2013.
I could not find a WORD about this in the Dispatch, although maybe I just missed it. I hope so. I hope folks still remember Steve Barbour. I hope they remember how much pain Mr. Miller put people through – denying everything- claiming he wasn’t drunk – blaming Steve Barbour, an ultra-careful belt/suspenders cyclist – of being at fault in the crash that killed him.
I try to keep up on these cases, but it’s difficult. Once they are locked up for a while you tend to move along to the next ones. I hope Mr. Miller is truly reformed – that he’s wandering the streets of Columbus telling all who will listen about the dangers of drinking and driving – I hope the cycling community will reach out to Mr. Miller to see if he is serious. He HAS to know how deep the wounds are that he caused – not just to Steve Barbour’s friends and family but to the cycling community.
Ed Miller learned one thing – keep on whacking away at the court. He filed his FIRST motion to get out of jail in June 2012, just a few months after going in. That was denied. He filed again a few months later… and won, facing only token resistance it seems…