After deliberating from the start of Wedneday morning to right up until lunchtime, the jury unanimously rendered first-degree murder verdicts for the slayings of Sgt. Sam Howard and Officer Matthew Baxter. It also found him guilty of bringing a concealed weapon into an establishment selling alcohol – Miller was found at what was then called Roscoe’s Bar on Orange Blossom Trail a few blocks from the shootings at Cypress and Palmway Streets. Osceola County Sheriff’s deputies found him there with at least one loaded weapon and took him into custody there.
The sentencing phase, Miller’s next step, is slated to begin in early November; where he could receive the death penalty. The prosecution is out of the Fifth Judicial District in Lake County – Gov. Rick Scott put them on the case back in 2017 when Ninth District (Orange-Osceola) Attorney General Aramis Ayala said her office would not pursue death penalty cases.
On Monday, the prosecution built a case around Miller’s social media posts and other encounters with people that he had a strong distain, or hate, for law enforcement.
On Tuesday, the only person the defense called to testify was Miller’s sister, Shavon Sutton, who said she could only sit back and watch as her brother lost his job, girlfriend and better judgment over the course of 2017. Before the Aug . 18, 2017 shootings, he was arrested in July 2017.