November 25, 2014

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Court officer charged with criminal trespass

LORAIN — Joel Miller, a court security officer at Lorain Municipal Court, was arrested in March on a misdemeanor criminal trespass charge for allegedly entering his estranged wife’s Lorain home without permission.

Miller, a retired Lorain police officer, was asked to take about two weeks off after the incident but has since returned to work, his attorney, JD Tomlinson, said.

According to a Lorain police report, Miller and his wife, Marcia Miller, are separated and she has moved out of the couple’s Amherst home and is now living on West Marina Parkway.

She told police that Joel Miller came over to her house around 6:30 p.m. March 30 and they had a glass of wine together before going to dinner at The Jackalope. She reported that they each had another drink at the restaurant.

At some point during dinner, the conversation became “uncomfortable,” Marcia Miller told police, and she asked Joel Miller to take her home. After he dropped her off, she said she locked the doors and eventually went to bed.

Marcia Miller told police that around 11 p.m. she woke up and found Joel Miller standing next to her bed asking if she wanted him to spend the night.

“She said that at no time did Joel threaten her, nor does she fear that Joel would be aggressive toward her,” the report said. “Marcia mentioned that she just wanted to be treated like every other citizen, and be protected and feel safe within her home.”

Joel Miller told police that Marcia Miller texted him and invited him to come over, but the report said the officer who reviewed his text messages only found one message from her discussing her job.

He also told officers that when he entered the residence, Marcia Miller told him that he had broken into her home and she was calling the police. Miller said he then handed her his cell phone and told her to call the police and tell them “it was her husband that had broken in,” the report said.

Marcia Miller told police that she wasn’t certain how her husband had entered the house, although she suspected that he knew the security code for her alarm system. Police reported finding no sign of forced entry.

Joel Miller, however, said that when he arrived, the front door was unlocked and he went inside.

Tomlinson said he’s still gathering information about what happened that night, but he doesn’t believe his client intentionally did anything wrong.

“I don’t think that Joel knowingly trespassed,” he said.

Although the police report stated that a temporary protection order was put into effect the night Miller was arrested, Tomlinson said that order is no longer in place.

He also said a visiting judge is being brought in to deal with the case and he believes a special prosecutor will be appointed.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.