St. Louis Public Radio News
Thu December 9, 2010
Sunset Hills cop Miller pleads guilty to five charges from drunk driving wreck
By AP / Rachel Lippmann, Kelsey Proud, St. Louis Public Radio
ST. LOUIS –
Updated at 3:45 with comments from Indian community.
Updated as of 2:15 p.m. after 1:30 p.m. court appearance:
- -Miller pled guilty to all five counts against her - 4 for involuntary manslaughter, 1 for assault.
- -Prosecutor Al Key said that Miller had a receipt for 5 Cosmopolitan drinks in her purse the night of the accident.
- -Miller's blood alcohol level remained over the legal limit for 4 hours after the crash.
- -Miller will remain under house arrest and electronic monitoring.
- -Sentencing will occur in March of 2011 when she's eligible to receive a punishment ranging from probation to 67 years in prison.
- -Key said he would like to see a "double-digit" number of years for Miller's prison sentence.
-Miller made no statement other than to plead guilty for the charges made against her. For the first year after the accident she was not mentally competent enough to withstand legal proceedings as a result of her injuries from the crash.
-Miller still suffers memory problems, and although at first in a wheelchair, can now stand.
Sharath Rao, who is with a community of Indians in St. Louis who are from Andhra Pradesh, the hometown of the victims, says it's good that justice will be served by the plea deal- but it doesn't bring comfort to the families.
"I went to India and met each victim's parents, and even six months later, they couldn't stop bringing tears to their eyes. Like even now, I feel the same too," he told reporters after the hearing.
The crash's sole survivor, Nitesh Adusumilli, is expected to be at the sentencing in March. Rao says he was out of town on Thursday for work.
A quick overview of the situation facing Sunset Hills police officer Christine Miller today:
- -In March of 2009, Miller was allegedly drunk when she was involved in a wreck that killed four college students from India.
- -Three of the four killed were graduate students at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. The sole survivor lost his fiance in the accident
- -Miller was off duty and driving the wrong way.
- -She collided nearly head-on with another car.
- Three hours after the crash Miller's blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit.
- -Miller is expected to plead guilty today.
KSDK also reported that the parents of the four killed in the accident filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Miller and the restaurant who served her alcohol, alleging that the bar served her past the point of intoxication and did not stop her from driving.
That suit was settled in April.