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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Mary Miller convicted of hit and run for death on Expressway.

From The office of the Lynchburg District Attorney:

On July 20, 2005 after a three day jury trial, 22-year old Mary Miller was convicted of Leaving the Scene of an Accident involving Personal Injury or Death, for the May 13, 2004 incident during which, 36-year old Renee Jones was killed. Jones had been run over by at least two vehicles on Route 29 southbound at the Grace Street interchange. After convicting the defendant, the jury recommended that the defendant be ordered to pay a $1,500 fine and serve a 9-month jail sentence. The prosecution was a result of an extensive investigation by the Lynchburg Commonwealth's Attorneys Office and the Lynchburg Police Department.

The evidence presented to the jury revealed that at approximately 1:00 a.m. on Thursday morning May 13, 2004, Renee Jones got out of a car being driven by her husband on the Grace Street entrance ramp to Route 29 Southbound. Witnesses on the roadway recall observing Ms. Jones walking in the middle of traffic in the southbound lanes. The last witness that observed Ms. Jones alive saw Ms. Jones fall to the ground in the right hand lane of traffic. Ms. Jones curled up in the fetal position and appeared to be crying.

The next person to see Ms. Jones, was Millard Chavis, a truck driver from Greensboro, NC. Mr. Chavis was driving his 18-wheel tractor trailer on Route 29 Southbound when he observed Ms. Jones lying in the roadway. At this time, Ms. Jones had already been struck by a vehicle as she was lying in the roadway with severe trauma to the upper portion of her body. Mr. Chavis was not able to stop his truck in time and ultimately ran over Ms. Jones' body.

Lynchburg Police responded to the scene and immediately observed Honda car parts lying in the roadway in a debris field very close to Ms. Jones' body. One of the car parts was a right front fender liner and the other parts were black plastic fragments that had been broken off of an air resonator. Police were able to determine that these Honda car parts belonged to a 1998-2002 Honda Accord. Police advised local media of the type of car they were searching for and tracked down numerous leads over the next six months.

In November 2004, police received a tip to check out the defendant, Mary Miller, a former Liberty University student that had moved to Tennessee only three days after the May 13, 2004 incident. The defendant was the owner of a 2001 Honda Accord. On November 18, 2004, Lynchburg Police traveled to Tennessee and conducted an interview with the defendant. During the interview the defendant provided a false alibi claiming that she was not on Route 29 Southbound on the night of the incident. The defendant was also very adamant that she had not been in an accident and that she had never had any repair work performed on her vehicle.

The following day, Lynchburg Police took the defendant's vehicle to an auto body shop in Hendersonville, TN and quickly discovered that the defendant's vehicle had a broken air resonator. The entire bottom half of the defendant's air resonator was missing. In addition, police discovered that the defendant had had work performed on her car back only four weeks after the May 13, 2004 incident. The work on the defendant's vehicle included replacing a missing right front fender liner.

Police soon thereafter were able to break down the defendant's alibi by confirming that the defendant had not gotten off of work at the time she told police and that she had been on Route 29 Southbound during the time of the incident. Police also spoke to the defendant's co-workers in Tennessee that reported the defendant had admitted to possibly having killed a woman by running her over in Lynchburg. When her co-workers advised the defendant that she should contact police if what she said was true, the defendant responded by stating that she would never admit anything to police.

Scientists from the Division of Forensic Science in Roanoke testified at trial that the right front fender liner found in the roadway, which was a match for the missing fender liner from the defendant's vehicle, had Ms. Jones' blood on it. Scientist were also able to conclusively testify that the broken black plastic fragments found on the roadway were at one time attached to the broken air resonator removed from the defendant's vehicle.

During the trial, the defendant testified and offered another false version of the events as they occurred on May 13, 2004. In total, the Commonwealth called 17 witnesses and the defense called 10 witnesses during the 3-day jury trial.

At the close of trial, Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Chuck Felmlee, who prosecuted the case, requested that the defendant's bond be revoke and that she be jailed pending sentencing. However the Honorable J. Leyburn Mosby, Circuit Court Judge allowed the defendant to remain free on a $10,000 secured bond pending her formal sentencing on September 16, 2004.

(Local police, law and crime) (Local news)


At 2:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think that this verdict was a very good one. She took someones life. I feel for the family of the lady that was killed by her. I just don't understand how she can only be given 9 months in jail and she lied about her alibi and whole story. Is this because she attended L.U. ? She committ a serious crime and they only allowed her 9 months in jail. A small drug dealer get more time then that. Also she showed no remorse toward the family for her actions. How sad. I just don't understand our judical system today.

At 3:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think people need to get their terminology straight.

Verdit=guilt or innocence
sentence=what the defendant is actually ordered to serve by a judge (a jury cannot sentence a defendant only a judge can)
jury recommendation=what the jury recommends she should serve (which is just a recommendation to the judge who actually does the sentencing)

The verdict in the case was right because she was found guilty. She has not been sentenced yet. THe jury has made a recommendation that she serve 9 months. She remains free on bond.

A lot of things play into the sentencing phase (prior record, any incidents of violence, job status, etc).

THis matter is a traffic offense,Does anyone understand this ? She was not charged with murder, she was charged in a traffic offense that revolves around her leaving the scene of an accident.

The person who died, the person who put her out on HWY 29, and the person who ran over her contributed to the series of events that resulted in this tragic incident. Everyone needs to pay attention to all of the things that occured. The victim was drunk, her husband let her out on a highway, witnesses say that she was running in an out of traffic, then lying in the road.

The Commonwealth could not prove that this person who hit the lady in the road purposefully hit her or drove her car in such a manor that it created her death, The prosecution had a case for hit and run and that is what they prosecuted her for because she did hit something and did leave the scene of an accident. That is all they Prosecution could prove.

The prosecution could not have proved whether the drivers or not she actually killed her either because there is some talk as to whether or not she was the only one who ran over her.

Maybe she wanted to die or purposefully put herself in traffic. I had a classmate in high school that stepped out in front of a car like for the sole purpose in killing himself. And guess what? He suceeded.

At 5:41 PM, Blogger B O B said...

Thank you for your comments.

The important issue here is personal responsibility. Mary Miller left the scene of an accident. Its possible she could have been some help to the victim.

Regardless if she was intoxicated or not, she would have faced a different outcome if she did what is expected of everyone. She opted for another path, and now faces consequences.

Some people would risk their lives to save another. Mary ran and lied.

At 11:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But was it ever determined if the girl actually knew she had hit a person? And how could it possibly be proven if she knew this or not.

I'm not trying to argue, but I am curious and haven't kept up with this news like I should have perhaps. Do you know any further details Bob? Thanks.

At 12:39 AM, Blogger B O B said...

Thank you for your question. From the press release by the Commonwealth Attorney the police reported:

"Police also spoke to the defendant's co-workers in Tennessee that reported the defendant had admitted to possibly having killed a woman by running her over in Lynchburg. When her co-workers advised the defendant that she should contact police if what she said was true, the defendant responded by stating that she would never admit anything to police." So are best indication is that she did know.

This is a tragic situation. And, the only thing I can report here is the facts of the case as presented.

At 1:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you for posting on this... I hope that mary miller get's what she deserves!
This is turly tragic. What people don't even mention is that renee not only lost her life... but what about her kids? They lost their mother... my heart goes out to them.My heart goes out the entire family and one day I promise something good will happen.

At 6:50 AM, Anonymous Constant Reader said...

A tragic story. While Ms. Miller certainly did the wrong thing by leaving the scene of the crime, it appears that Ms Jones certainy contributed to her own death as did her husband. It seems to me that this is why Ms Miller has been treated the way she has. She made a bad choice by leaving the scene of the accident. But I would also like to ask that you think of her age and how terrified she must have been when suddenly there was a person on the road that she couldn't avoid. And she has to live with something that she probably couldn't have prevented for the rest of her life. I am disturbed over her lack of remorse and her unwillingness to tell the police, though at that point she probably figured it would be worse for her since so much time had passed. And please understand, I am not saying what she did is right, only trying to look at the whole story

At 10:09 AM, Blogger B O B said...

Thank you for your comments. Any way you look at this it is a tragic. Both for the victim and Mary Miller. Mary Miller has to learn a hard lesson, one that I am glad I have never faced in life. My parents always taught me, if I was wrong to admit my guilt. This is a lesson that I personally have taken to heart all my life and it has served me well.

At 10:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NeeNee I am sorry I didn't get to know you further. I was only 3years old last itme I saw you. Now I never will!

At 11:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that something should be said for the husband who reportedly let his "beloved" wife out of the vehicle after a heated arguement. His wife whom was drunk and high. Let her out on a highway that is pretty dangerous in the daytime, much more so at night.

Okay, so she did run. But you know in the back of her mind the whole time she had to be thinking about it and each time she probably kept telling herself, "No, there's no way that I could have done it. It's not possible."

And anyway, after speaking with the police, she drove back to Virginia and turned herself in. They should have let her go on bond, why not?

And now, the family wants to sue for money. Why should the husband get any money? The only thing that he should get is jail time himself. The family members have said that they had really bad fights all the time and that they both had drug problems, beyond the pot and alchol that he admitted to. He should have never let her out of the car in the first place!

AND PEOPLE: Pay freakin' attention. Mary Miller did NOT kill Mrs. Jones. All the witnesses said that Mary's car hit her and then the truck driver ran over her. GET THE FACTS STRAIGHT!!!!!

At 10:54 AM, Anonymous Daughter said...

What everyone fails to realize is that where Ms. Jones was at (in a blind curve coming down a hill) that nobody could have avoided hitting her. Granted Ms. Miller should have stopped and not fled the scene, but this whole ordeal was the result of negligence on the part of Ms. Jones and more importantly her husband (who is now suing for over $3M in damages....welcome to America). According to me ME's report Ms. Jones was dead by the time the truck driver hit her (by the way it was her legs from the knee down to her feet not the entire body). I know this because my dad was that truck driver. Not one of these comments have all of the facts. This is a very sad situation that doesn't need judgement passed on it by ignorance of the facts.

At 4:32 PM, Anonymous renees daughters said...

thank you very much to the ones who have great consideration for us and our brother. to the rest you knew nothing of our mother. no one is prefect, but more then less she loved us very much. she loved everyone more then anything the proff is there my mom would go a pick the three year old up and show her nothing but the greatest love . but the fact remains that mary miller hit our mother going way over the speed limit and left her there honestly how can you not know that you hit someone she was a person and not very small one either. for all those who judge they may never no the pain we fill but niether will they have the strength to over come the things we can not change. god blessed us with this gift. yes i will say that her so called husband did not react the way he should but still he did act because not even 15 minutes after i gave my mother a hug and kiss he was banging on the door saying we had to get my mother that he had left her on the road and she wouldnt get back in the car . i saw my mother or shall i say what was left her a green sweater i had given her because she said she was cold it was there in the road now can u image the guilt i feel for letting her leave my arms only by her promise she would come back. yes if she did want her life to end she have told me i will see you soon sweetie when i get back and yes i will still take you shopping she plannede for the future only for it to be ripped away. the lord jesus lets everything happen to make you stronger.

At 4:56 PM, Anonymous renees daughters said...

to the person who said get the facts straight we will ever know if she did or didnt because miss miller left her there. accident or no accident

At 5:03 PM, Anonymous renee's daughter's love said...

first of all mary knew she hit something and kept going that was very ignorant and not thoughtful at all. her family then hid her from the police knowing she did something that will till this day hunt her. she then only serves 9 months in jail when found???? no matter what her husband should not have left someone so wonderful like that in the streets....all i have to really say is i love her daughter so much and this situation will get or be solved!!

At 5:06 AM, Anonymous Eldora's daughter said...

if this is still checked from time to time...please know.. that kolda+runkle famlies a little girl given up 25 years ago mourns the loss of her half sister...
i hope you are all well and will find me someday


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