Ken Miller Trial
Lisa Miller Child Custody Case
When Kingdoms Collide
New teaching CD by David Bercot
Romans 13 commands Christians to obey the governmental authorities. But what happens when Caesarís demands conflict with Jesusí commandments? This happened in Ken Millerís case. In this message, Bercot sets for 7 biblical principles we must look at when Caesarís kingdom and Godís kingdom collide. more.
65 min. CD $4.95
What About Timo Miller?
March 16, 2013:
Over the past six months, Iíve been asked numerous times about the role that Timothy (Timo) Miller and others played in the prosecution of the Ken Miller case. ďWas it right for Timo to testify against Ken Miller?Ē Iím often asked. So let me explain how I look at the matter, which to the best of my knowledge, is also how Ken looks at it.
To begin with, nobody testified against Ken Miller. Several Anabaptists, including Timo Miller, gave their testimony concerning what they knew about the disappearance of Lisa Miller and her daughter. They werenít joining sides with the prosecution against Ken. If any of them had refused to testify, the government would have prosecuted them for the role they played in Lisaís disappearance. The government would also have called them to testify before a grand jury, and they would have been jailed for contempt of court if they had refused to testify there.
As it happened, the testimony of these Anabaptists confirmed the circumstantial evidence the government already had against Ken, and it led to Kenís arrest. However, itís important to understand that each of these persons testified that it was Ken who had contacted them and asked them to get involved in helping Lisa move to Nicaragua. In other words, they didnít bring Ken into the matter, he brought them into it. That being the case, would it have been right for Ken to let them go to jail in order to protect him?
If Ken was the one who got them involved in the Lisa Miller disappearance, and if they were offered immunity for their testimony, then Christian love required that Ken be the one to face prosecution instead of them. Itís for that reason that Ken is not in any way upset or disappointed with these fellow believers. Nor does he want anyone else to view them negatively because of the stance they took. He is happy that he was the only one to be prosecuted, for it could have easily turned out differently, and everyone could have been prosecuted instead of just Ken.
March 9, 2013: Ken Miller Has Written a Page on His Impressions of Lisa Miller.
To read this paper, click on Lisa Miller.
Read the letter that Ken Miller sent to Judge William Sessions while Ken was in jail. Click on Ken Miller letter.
Ken Miller Has Been Set Free For Now
March 4, 2013: This afternoon, Judge Sessions made three rulings:
1. He sentenced Ken Miller to 27 months in federal prison for aiding Lisa Miller to flee to Nicaragua with her daughter.
2. He decided that Ken is not going to testify before the grand jury regardless of continued incarceration, so he lifted the civil contempt order.
3. Before the hearing, we filed a notice that we intended to appeal Kenís conviction because we feel that venue was improper. Venue is the place a trial is held. We feel that the federal rules require that the case be tried in Virginia instead of Vermont.
The judge ruled that we have raised a ďsubstantive issue,Ē meaning we have a reasonable chance of prevailing on the appeal. He therefore put Kenís prison sentence on hold until the 2nd Circuit rules on our appeal. This will probably take 2 years or longer. If the sentence were not stayed, Ken could serve nearly his entire sentence, only to have the original conviction overturned.
So Ken was able to leave the federal courthouse in Burlington, VT, and return with his wife and family to Virginia. When I last spoke with him, he was en route to Virginia. About 100 brothers and sisters attended the hearing. Ken will be under the same restrictions he was previously underósuch as not leaving the state of Virginia.
Two to three years from now, we should receive a ruling from the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals on our appeal. If they agree with us that venue in Vermont was improper, then the federal government will have to start over. Such a ruling would erase Kenís sentence as well as his felony conviction. The government may elect to try Ken in Virginia, or they may decide to drop the case.
If the Court of Appeals rules that venue in Vermont was proper, then Ken will have to report to the prison to which he will be assigned to begin his sentence. The judge said that Ken would serve his time in a minimum security prison in or near Virginia. DB
I spoke with Ken a few hours ago, and he wants to thank everyone for their letters. When he left the Essex County Jail last week, one of the guards told him that he had probably set a record for the most mail received by any prisoner in their jail for a similar time period. Ken told me that he received about 20 letters today at the new prison. However, half of the letters had to be returned to their senders without Ken getting to see them because they violated the prisonís rules on letters. The new prison has stricter rules on mail than did the Essex County Jail. Some of the new mail restrictions are:
● No postcards
● No letters containing colors by magic markers or highlighters
● No letters or pictures with drawings by crayon, paint, etc.
● No letters with staples
So be certain to follow these restrictions so that your letters will reach Ken. Thanks. DB
Youíre Invited to Attend March 4
I wanted to let everyone know that they are invited to attend Kenís sentencing on March 4, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. Even though you will probably not get an opportunity to talk to Ken, he will certainly be encouraged and strengthened by your presence.
Ken Is Back in the Vermont State Prison
8:30 p.m., Feb. 20, 2013: I spoke with Ken this evening around 8:00 p.m. He had just been processed back to the Vermont state facility where he was originally held. He was nearby the phone when I called so we were able to have an extended talk. He wants everyone to know that he is doing fine. We knew he would be transported back to Vermont before the hearing on March 4, but we werenít expecting the move quite this early.
Ken actually left the Essex County Jail around 11:00 a.m. this morning. But the transportation van was also picking up prisoners from various other jails. So it took until about 7:00 p.m. this evening for the van to reach the Northwest Correctional Center in Vermont.
Because Ken is back in state prison, it means that only visitors who are on his approved visitorís list can see him. We donít know how long it will take to get that list set up. I plan on speaking with him on Thursday morning around 11:00 a.m., and he should know more then. Also, ministers have to be on the prisonís approved ďvolunteer listĒ to be able to visit. From what the officer said, ministers are not able to have a one-on-one visit as they are at the Essex County Jail. Instead, the approved ministers meet with a group of prisoners at one time.
Letters will mean more than ever right now. His new address is:
Northwest Correctional Center
3649 Lower Newton Rd.
Swanton, VT 05488
Ken Miller En Route Back to Vermont Prison
Feb. 20, 2013, 4:15 p.m.This afternoon, I attempted to call Ken at the New York Essex jail where he has been the last couple of weeks. The officer I spoke with said that Ken has been taken back to the Vermont Northwest State Correctional Facility. I have tried to reach him there, but the officer I spoke to said that they have no Ken Miller there. It's possible that he is still en route. David Bercot
Time of Ken Miller Sentencing Set
Many people have asked me what time on March 4, 2013, will Kenís hearing occur. His hearing for sentencing is set for 2:30 p.m. on March 4.
A number of people have also asked how Ken is doing in jail. Ken is doing very well. The Lord has blessed his time in jail similarly to His blessing Josephís time in jail in ancient Egypt. Ken has asked and been granted permission to have a Bible study in the jail. He has already been able to use his pastoral gifts to minister to various men in the jail.
Ken and the three other men who were processed into the jail at the same time all eat at the same table for their three meals each day. The men noticed Ken silently praying before he began his meals. So one of them men suggested that the four of them stand for prayer before each meal, with Ken doing the praying. So that is what they do now at each mail.
When I spoke with Ken two days ago, he said that he was receiving about 20 letters a day from various brothers and sisters all over. Even if you have already written Ken a letter, I encourage you to send him additional letters, as these are a source of real encouragement to him. David Bercot.
Ken Millerís Sentencing Set for March 4, 2013
Judge Sessions has set Kenís sentencing for the morning of March 4, 2013. We do not have the exact time yet. You are welcome to attend! If you are in a position to attend Kenís sentencing on March 4, I know your presence would mean a lot to him.
Please Write to Ken:
It would mean the world to Ken to receive letters from his brothers and sisters, letting him know that we all stand with him. At least until March 4, his address is:
Essex County Correctional Center
702 Stowersville Rd.
P. O. Box 68
Lewis, NY 12950
Note: Letters do not have to be handwritten.
In addition to writing Ken, why not sending a note of encouragement to Kenís wife, Linda, and his family. Their address is:
3301 Stuarts Draft Highway
Waynesboro, VA 22980
Jan. 31, 2013: Ken Miller Sent Back to Jail
Ken Miller appeared before Judge Sessions today (Thur., Jan. 31) in order for the judge to see if Ken had changed him mind about testifying. Ken told the judge that jail has only made his convictions that much stronger. Ken explained to the judge why he cannot conscientiously testify against a fellow citizen of God's Kingdom who was acting in good faith to obey the laws of Christ.
Since he was not willing to testify, the judge remanded Ken back to jail until Ken changes his mind or until such time that it is clear that coercion is not going to cause Ken to violate his conscience. Brooks McArthur and I (David Bercot) both argued before the judge that such a time has already arrived. Ken could have avoided all of the legal problems and punishments he has faced if he had just testified two years ago. If he hasn't changed his mind over these two years, he is hardly going to change his mind now.
Ken asked me to relay to his fellow believers that he is totally at peace, and he felt that he was the freest man in the courtroom today. He would rather be in jail with a conscience that is free and clear before God than to be physically free and have his conscience condemning him.
Saturday, January 27, 2013:
Letter from Kenís wife:
I was privileged to speak with Ken for a bit on the phone today. He is
doing well, by the grace of God. He said he has a fine cell block to
stay in, a group of men with whom he feels a comradeship. His cell mate
is a Christian, and a lot of men in his unit read their Bibles. He's had
good spiritual conversations with some of them. He feels your prayers
and is very appreciative to all.
The rest of us also feel the support of your prayers. May God richly
bless you, each one!
Linda Miller and family
Ken Miller Is Imprisoned for Refusal to Testify
On Thursday morning, January 24, Ken Miller was asked to testify in front of a federal grand jury in Burlington, VT, concerning the involvement of any other persons in the Lisa Miller case. Ken believes that such testifying would be disloyal to Jesus Christ. Therefore, he politely refused to testify. As a result, Judge Sessions found Ken in contempt of court. He ordered Ken to be imprisoned until such time as Ken agrees to testify or until the term of the grand jury expires.
More details to follow.
Court of Appeals Hears Grand Jury Issue
On Tuesday, December 19, the attorneys for Ken Miller and for the government argued their positions before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. The government is trying to force Ken to testify before a grand jury before he is sentenced for his conviction in helping in Lisa Miller's parental "kidnapping".
If Ken refuses to testify, then the government wants to use that to argue that the district court should give Ken a heavier sentence than it would otherwise give. From their statements in the proceedings, it appears that the Second Circuit views what the government is trying to do as unconstitutional. However, the appellate court is giving the government the opportunity to modify its position. Here is the statement issued by Ken's attorney, Josh Autry:
Today, we had oral arguments before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York regarding our petition for extra-ordinary relief. Essentially, we have asked the Second Circuit to reverse the District Court and to prevent Ken Miller's grand jury deposition prior to his sentencing. We argued that forcing him to testify against his will and without an attorney present would violate his Constitutional protections to not incriminate himself and to have an attorney.
Although it is impossible to predict how the judges will rule on the motion, the judges seemed uncomfortable with the prosecutor's position. The prosecutor argued that the Government can increase Ken Miller's sentence if he exercises his right to silence at the grand jury deposition. The judges appeared to make clear that this punishment would violate Ken Miller's Constitutional rights.
Grand Jury Testimony Put on Hold
Good news! I had just arrived in Burlington, Vermont, on the afternoon of November 14, when I received a phone call informing me that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily stayed the subpoena ordering Ken Miller to appear before a grand jury on the morning of the 15th. This is only a temporary hold until the Second Circuit has time to study our Motion to Dismiss and then to rule on it. So Ken Miller is now back home in Virginia waiting until we hear something further. David Bercot
Grand Jury Testimony
Ken Miller is scheduled to appear before a grand jury at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 15, in Burlington, Vermont. The purpose of the hearing is for the government to obtain more information about others, if any, who may be involved in the Lisa Miller matter. David Bercot will be in Burlington, Vermont, for the hearing. Attorneys are not allowed to be present during the actual grand jury testimony. However, Ken will have the right to talk to David and to Brooks McArthur (his local attorney) at any time during the testimony. We'll update our readers once the grand jury testimony is over.
On September 14, 2012 a representative of the federal court in Vermont conducted a pre-sentencing hearing with Ken Miller by video. Ken, along with his attorneys, were at the federal court house in Harrisburg, PA, for the video interview. Matters involving the case were not discussed in the interview. Rather, the court representative asked Ken about his health, family, job, education, and matters like that.
No date has been set yet for the sentencing.
Ken Miller Found Guilty
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
From: Loyal Martin
Our whole family along with several others brothers from NY arrived at Burlington Court about 8:50 am to find a line stretching out the front door and down the sidewalk. It took some time to go through the security line and court was already in session till we got through. The courtroom on the fifth floor was packed and the marshals and technicians were scurrying to set up audio in an overflow room on the second floor. We were placed in the overflow room. Quite a few were present from VA, plus many from PA, NY, VT, OH, MA, ME, KS, TX and I'm sure other places. I later counted over 110 in the courtroom and at least another 30 in the overflow room. Besides a few journalists almost all were Anabaptist people. Janet's lawyer was present.
I understand from others that a brother from Stuarts Draft, Ivan Swarey, gave brief testimony for the defense first thing this morning, but the audio was not yet connected in our room so I could not hear it. Brother Ken did not take the witness stand.
Our audio was turned on in time for us to hear the prosecutor begin his closing statements. He strung together all the evidence against Ken that had been presented emphasizing Ken's initiatory role in each situation. He said Lisa needed help to do what she wanted to do and Ken provided that help. He spoke for almost an hour. He said venue was appropriate in VT because that is where Ken was arrested and that evidence shows Ken thought it was right to help Lisa in spite of the law and that his intent was to impede "evil" court orders. He was very specific in emphasizing that they intentionally helped Lisa violate existing visitation rights. He asked the jurors to return a guilty verdict.
The closing arguments of the defense lasted about a half hour. He emphasized that several witnesses' testimonies, including the key witness (Timo), agreed that at the time of Lisa's travel they did not believe they were violating any laws. He said you can't "intend" to violate a law that doesn't exist yet. He replayed some clear statements from Timo's deposition for the jury to hear. He did not contest the evidence but said that Ken's motive was to help a mother who would possibly lose her own biological daughter to a woman who had no connection to her. He said Lisa had every right to travel when she did and that she travelled legally. He emphasized that to return a guilty verdict there must not be a reasonable doubt. "We don't put people in jail for 'maybes' or 'possiblys'." He very kindly instructed the jurors to make sure they're fair, and that it's OK not to compromise just to have a unanimous vote. He ended by thanking the officials of the state of VT for their kindness during the trial.
The prosecution gave a final rebuttal reiterating that in their opinion a guilty verdict depended on actual violation more than intent to violate. She emphasized that they purchased one way tickets and that there was no change in Ken's behavior after the custody transfer. She said, "Mr. Miller decided his judgment, not the VT court judgment, should stand. He did it because he felt Janet should not have access to Isabella." She asked the jury to find him guilty as charged.
After a short break, the judge gave a lengthy charge to the jury detailing their responsibilities and giving some specific, helpful guidelines for making a judgment. He said that if the evidence supports two conclusions you must conclude the defendant is innocent. He stated the charge: Aiding and abetting the removal of a child from the US with the intent to obstruct the lawful excercise of parental rights. He asked the jury to give a verdict on two points: 1. Is the defendant guilty or innocent as charged? 2. If guilty, is venue appropriate in VT? He said their decision must be unanimous. He appointed a juror named Rosanne to be the floor person of the jury and dismissed them.
Judge William Sessions then addressed those of us who had attended the court case. He expressed that it had been a pleasure for him to watch the way this trial was conducted. He said even though it was a long trial, attendees were very attentive, well-mannered, and respectful; Especially the children were extraordinarily well-mannered and he wanted to express his personal appreciation for the conduct of all of us. One of the marshals later said that all of them had respect and sympathy for us.
Lunch was provided for some in the basement of the nearby church and we gathered in the sanctuary to share together in song and prayer. The prevailing atmosphere was very yielded, beseeching, and united.
Soon after 2:00 we began to make our way back into the courthouse so we would be through security before the courtroom doors opened. At about 2:45 court was briefly called into session because the jurors wanted to ask the judge if they could view part of Timo's deposition again. The judge responded that any testimony could only be given once but that if it was really necessary he could perhaps arrange for a portion of the court transcript to be read if both the defense and prosecution approved the portion. The jurors asked to be dismissed again.
At about 3:15 court was reconvened with the marshals saying the jury had reached a verdict. In a quiet, subdued courtroom the verdict was read: Guilty. Venue is appropriate in VT. The judge asked the defense if they wanted the jury to be polled. After an affirmative response, each juror was asked by name if they agreed to the verdict. They all responded yes. One juror was near tears. The judge gave 30 days for the defense to present post-trial motions at which point sentencing will take place. Ken Miller is released on bail until then, but was asked to surrender his passport. After a sentence is given the case could possibly be appealed.
We all left the courthouse and gathered across the street raising our voices in song together while the news media took in our response. Owen Yoder of VA Did an excellent job of directing about 130 of us as we selected songs and sang together. Man of Sorrows What A Name, Victory in Jesus, When Peace Like a River, Faith of Our Fathers, There Is a God He Is Alive, My Jesus I Love Thee, When the Roll is Called Up Yonder, How Beautiful Heaven Must Be, Victory In Jesus (again), I Was In Sin's Prison, We've Got the Power in the Name of Jesus, There's Power in the Blood, Wonderful Story of Love, Sing the Wondrous Love of Jesus, Kneel at the Cross, Amazing Grace, Rock of Ages, Sing the Wondrous Love of Jesus (again), The Old Rugged Cross, A Wonderful Savior is Jesus My Lord, I Believe in God, Blest Be the Tie That Binds, My Faith Has Found a Resting Place, Nothing but the Blood, There's Power in the Blood (again) and some others. My heart was very encouraged to be part of the many groups who were being drawn to the Lord together by this mutual trial.
Some reporters gathered around Ken asking for his response. He said we had hoped for a ruling in our favor but we respect the judge and jury and feel like we were treated fairly. He said our people will not respond with lobbying and protesting but by God's grace will seek to obey the Word of God with quiet suffering. He spoke about the changes that are taking place in our society and how it is almost inevitable that these kind of conflicts will increase. Ken very clearly and simply presented the gospel message that God sent His Son Jesus Christ into this world; that He came and dwelt among us, carrying the sin of each one of us as He died on the cross. Whoever believes this and surrenders their life to Him in repentance can have their sin taken away and be reconciled to God.
One day last week while sitting in court, I opened my Bible at random and read these words: "But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God..." 1 Pet.3:14-18 While we do not profess to have fully "arrived" in our pursuit of understanding and applying God's will in our lives, I believe these verses (and others) call us to be willing to face these kinds of suffering experiences so that God's glory (His character on display) is made known by our lives and seeking souls are brought to Him.
I would like to note that while the church at Stuarts Draft has not said much about finances, there is a continued need for finances for legal fees, esp. if the case is appealed.
More information is available at: www.millercase.org
Trial Day Two
Friday, August 10, 2012
From: Loyal Martin
In yesterday's report I misinformed you that Andrew Harmon was a journalist for a GLBT magazine. He is covering the trial for "The Atlantic" which is a mainstream magazine. Please accept my apologies. I apologize as well that this report is late. Anesha, who does so much better at typing than I, typed it for me as I dictated from my notes while we travelled home through the Adirondack Mountains. We got so involved in our project that I made a wrong turn. We drove about an hour the wrong direction before realizing our mistake, had to retrace our path, and arrived home at 11:00 pm!
The courtroom today was well filled with over 65 Anabaptist believers plus a few journalists. More people arrived from PA and VA; also a few from VT were again present. The prosecution had little visible support. Before the jury was called in, the judge gave direction that Janet Jenkin's anticipated testimony should be kept brief because this case is not seeking to resolve the child custody issues. The focus of the trial should remain on the issues of Ken's alleged crime. We then finished watching Timo's deposition from December. Timo said that there had been no organized plan but that events simply unfolded as individuals related to the situation. Timo was cross-examined on the deposition, but it was a disadvantage to the prosecution that he was not present today to be cross-examined.
Next, Andy Yoder, presently from OH, but previously field director for CAM in Nicaragua, gave a very clear and honest testimony. He answered questions about CAM's work in Nicaragua, about his involvement with the Lisa Miller case, and about evidence that he took $500 cash to Nicaragua for Timo. He spoke about CAM's refusal to involve themselves with helping Lisa Miller, testifying that CAM was sympathetic to her case, but didn't want to jeopardize all their other projects for Lisa. He stated that he didn't know if helping Lisa was illegal, but he preferred to follow CAM's directive since he was working for them. He said there was not a lot communication between him and Timo about Lisa. He also said Timo believed his actions were legal.
After this a US Marshall from Burlington testified that he arrested Ken in Burlington. This testimony was necessary because the prosecution is seeking to validate the trial taking place in Burlington rather than VA. Under cross-examination he also testified that Ken came to Burlington voluntarily to be arrested and said he was not aware that Ken had committed any crimes in VT.
Janet Jenkins was then called as a witness. She stated that by occupation she is a licensed child care provider, and gave testimony about her and Lisa's relationship and their plan to have a family. She said they planned for Isabella to be born in VT, but she was born prematurely in VA. Efforts to have a second child ended in a miscarriage. Under cross examination she acknowledged that initially after their separation Lisa had allowed regular visits with Isabella and that those visits continued for a time even after the custody case was in court. She became somewhat emotional when referring to the lack of visits with Isabella. After her testimony Janet stayed in the courtroom until lunch break but was not present in the afternoon court sessions.
Doug Wright, pastor of Keystone Baptist Church in VA, testified that Lisa and her brother Chris had been members of their church, that Isabella attended preschool there, and that they took care of Isabella while Lisa was working as a teacher. He testified that Chris left VA to go to seminary in Sept. 2009 and shortly after that he received a call from Lisa. He met them in a Wal-Mart parking lot because she and Isabella wanted to say goodbye to him. He said Lisa was not wearing Mennonite clothes at the time. He also gave testimony about a phone call from Ken Miller on Nov. 20, 2009 in which he agreed to arrange helpers to clear out Lisa's vacant house and provide money to pay the rent that was due.
In the afternoon a banker gave testimony about understanding check records and verifying bank transactions.
Elaine Cooper (Timo's mother-in-law) was called to give testimony about Timo's use of her credit card. She said Timo did not have a credit card and would occasionally use hers with permission and later reimburse her. She verified granting permission for Timo to use her credit card to purchase airline tickets in Sept. 2009 and also verified receiving two money orders from an unknown source as reimbursement.
A US postal investigator gave testimony to help jurors understand the function of money orders and verified details of the 2 money orders on record. He said they were purchased in Stuarts Draft, VA.
At this point the jury was dismissed temporarily so the judge could make some rulings about how the case should proceed from here. I'm not sure I fully understand all the issues they discussed but will give what understanding I have. The defense asked the judge to acquit Ken on the basis that some testimony had given evidence that there was not a definite intent to break the law. The judge agreed that such testimony had been given but said that other testimony had been given as well and the jury should make the decision. The judge also declined to rule on the issue of whether venue is appropriate in VT but said he would raise the issue to the jury for a decision.
For legal reasons I do not fully understand, the prosecution was asking the judge to prohibit the defense from calling witnesses to give testimony about Ken's character. The judge overruled this and said the law allows and even supports some character witnesses in a case like this, but that they should seek to avoid linking it with religious issues. The judge denied introducing Timo's cooperation agreement into the case. He said he would review information Timo gave to the Grand Jury and rule later about whether it could be introduced.
After the jury returned to the room, the defense called Linda Rose Miller of Golden Rule Travel to witness again. She testified that she knew Ken well, that he was humble, honest, and law-abiding, that he was honest about his short-comings and a man of integrity. She said her testimony was based on conversations with him and observations of his life.
Ivan Beachy of Free Union, VA, bishop, and secretary-treasurer of AMA gave testimony that he had known Ken for 25 yrs. He said on a scale of 1 to 10 Ken was a 6 or 7 in closeness to him. He said Ken was absolutely a man of character, unpretentious, and very authentic, and that he was honest and trustworthy. "What you see is what you get" was his description of Ken. He said his knowledge came from meeting Ken and hearing him teach at minister's meetings and from associating in church work and church social gatherings on a frequent basis.
My understanding is that there are perhaps no other witnesses to be called by the defense, but I could be wrong about this. Mr. Autry, Ken's lawyer, said he would give the judge an answer on Monday (even though there is no court on Monday) about whether Ken will take the witness stand in his own defense. Please pray about this decision. Mr. Autry also told us that the trial could well be finished on Tuesday or Wednesday.
I was getting numerous requests to please try to report on the trial next week. Perhaps I can arrange that.
1 Tim.2:1-4 "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."
Trial Day Two
Thursday, August 9, 2012
There were approximately sixty people present for the trial today. The security invited us to sit on either side of the court room, as there was not enough room on our side.
The court opened at 9:00 AM. The judge inquired as to whether any jury member had heard of or spoken to anyone of the case. One juror had something to tell the judge. The judge called for a brief recess with the lawyers and jurors. Yesterday one juror was disqualified, leaving one juror as a backup. The juror this morning was also disqualified, leaving no reserve. The judge admonished the jurors of their responsibility in maintaining absolute reserve regarding the case.
The prosecution continued with witnesses by Google and nTelos regarding phone calls made enroute to Niagara, NY; a statement prepared by Rebecca Zodhiatis; Terry Miller, Lisa's father; Mary Jones of Bee Line Transport in regard to the towing of Lisa's car in Virginia; Linda Rose Miller, Golden Rule Travel, in regard to the sale of airline tickets; a statement prepared by Marvin Mast, Golden Rule Travel, regarding some late-night phone calls; Gary Hubbard, of Google, involving record keeping practices for e-mails; Patrick (?) , a linguistic expert in Pennsylvania German to describe translation of certain e-mails; and finished with a video deposition by Timo Miller. This was not finished this evening, and will be finished tomorrow.
We want to especially give recognition to Linda Rose Miller for her part on the witness stand. It was not easy for her. She most certainly credits the grace of God on her behalf, and the prayers of all of her brothers and sisters in Christ. It may be that she will be called to the stand again tomorrow. We ask that you do not try to contact her with any questions or information about the case until she is released from her testimony duties. Keep her in your prayers, especially considering that her father just came through a cancer surgery, and she cannot be there with him.
Many of our readers would have found the Pennsylvania German (Dutch) linguistic expert quite interesting. He is a gentleman associated with a Pennsylvania German Historical society in Pennsylvania. He described his work of translating old Pennsylvania German letters into English, and spoke of the various nuances he encounters in his work. In the course of his cross-examination Patrick made reference to grund-saugh dauk (Groundhog's Day).
Has anyone ever seen a high profile federal court in stitches of laughter? The Vermonters knew nothing of the origins of Groundhog Day, Feb. 2. Especially when Patrick related of the eight foot tall groundhog mascot for a males only groundhog society. The court went into hysterics. I thought the one juror lady would be struck out from laughing so hard. Ms. Cawley, the cross-examining prosecutor was over come with laughing. The judge couldn't contain himself, as well as the other lawyers. Ken's Vermont lawyer was wiping tears and wiping his nose. The judge suggested they may need a recess to get this thing straightened out. They finally got their act together and dismissed the Pennsylvania German groundhog society member.
God has been answering prayers, some quite specifically. Pray especially for Bro. Ken and his family; Sister Linda Rose; several others of our brothers who may be called upon to testify; pray for the prosecution and the defense lawyers as the Spirit of God lays it on your hearts.
Furnished by Loyal Martin
Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2012
We arrived at court about 9:00 this morning in time to hear the
opening statements from the prosecution and the defense. Throughout
the day the prosecution brought 5 witnesses which gave testimony. A
social worker from VT, a Canadian border agent, a brother from Ont.
who was subpeoned, a lady from Thomas Road Baptist Church in
Lynchburg- also subpeoned (she was crying afterward because she
couldn't bear it that she had to testify for the prosecution), and a
lady from Verizon Wireless.
The brother from Ontario gave a very loving but clear
reason for why he participated and what the Bible says about immoral
lifestyles and about us helping people to find God's way.
The atmosphere was calm. I counted 50 believers from about 9
different churches in VT, VA, NY, PA, and Ont. during the morning
session, and in the afternoon it swelled to near 70 spilling over onto
the side where the prosecution's support was. Janet Jenkins was not
there. Only about 20 people on the other side - a few were reporters.
This number dropped to around 10 in the afternoon.
I was told that a daily report will be available on www.millercase.org and that Monroe
Chupp from VA is working to co-ordinate groups who would like to come.
The number of folk who are here may drop a little the first part of
next week unless more brethren decide to come, although I heard a
commitment from the churches in VT that they will do what they can to
keep that from happening.
Court was dismissed a little early at about 4 with the prosecution
saying they hope to finish with their witnesses maybe by Friday noon,
after which the defense will bring their witnesses. Timo's account
will be given Thursday on pre-recorded video. He is not required to
come in person because of an imminent childbirth at home.There is no
court on Monday.
I came away with a greater burden for the need to pray for all that
are in authority that we may be able to lead a quiet and peaceable
life in all godliness and honesty and with a greater awareness of the
chaos that results when a society functions with less and less of the
fear of God. I was impressed with the thoughtful and understanding way
the elderly judge deliberated at the trial.
A church has been made available about a block from the court for
meeting at lunchtime to pray together and this evening we had a very
refreshing time together with about 50 of us at a park along the lake-
singing, praying, and sharing. While we had our time together another
group of mostly younger people marched through the park with placards
chanting, "Disarm the police, For justice and for peace."
May our gaze be upon the One who loves us and washes us from our
sin's with His own blood as we find our place living for Him in this
Trial Day Two
August 8, 2012
Reminder: Today is the day of fasting and prayer for this case.
Approximately 50 people were in attendance to support Ken, along with a handful of reporters. Ken and supporters seated on the right; news and prosecution seated on the left. The clerk opened the court, addressing the United States vs Kenneth Miller.
The judge addressed the jury, stating the case, and presenting the normal processes of the courts. The judge told the jury:
1. The case will be decided upon evidence- testimonies, admission of evidence
2. Both sides will have opportunity to present evidence
3. If Ken's side gives evidence, the government will have opportunity to give a rebuttal
4. After the rebuttal, the evidence is closed
5. Once arguments are completed, the charge is given to consider the evidence; there is nothing about the judge's view of the evidence
6. Define the charge that is given
7. When the charge is given, it is in your hands
1. Ken is presumed to be innocent
2. They need proof beyond reasonable doubt
3. The defendant is not required to testify
The judge stressed that it is not about what you believe about same sex, Amish, or VA's position on same sex marriages.
The prosecution began examining witnesses in the forenoon. They called the following witnesses today:
- Tara Levine, legal guardian of Isabella
- Went over many documents of earlier court proceedings to show that Lisa was unwilling to co-operate with court sanctioned visitation rights with Janet Jenkins
Rebuttal by Mr. Autry
- Points out documents showing a ruling by the state of VA that Lisa is the sole parent of Isabella
- Showed that Janet showed no interest in establishing a relationship with Isabella other than by litigation
- Burden of proof in establishing parentage was a big topic
- Intelligence officer from Canada
- Explained records of Lisa's crossing into Canada by taxi
- Ontario, Canada Pastor/ farmer
- Called to testify how he was called by Ken to pick up Lisa and take her to the airport
- Spoke of conversation with a "Philip"
- An acquaintance from Lynchburg, spoke of her contacts up to the time of Lisa's disappearance. (The defense did not get much from her.)
- Explained how the cell phone system works; Reviewed some of Ken's phone calls.
Judge had discussion with the lawyers about Timo's evidence. He knows that the prosecution feels it will be detrimental to their case if his deposition is read in court. He asks that it would be read because it is helpful to the case.
Closed at 3:30