October 25, 2014

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Court security officer pleads no contest

LORAIN — Joel Miller, a Lorain Municipal Court security officer, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct during a court appearance Wednesday.

Miller, a retired Lorain police officer, originally was charged with criminal trespassing for entering his estranged wife’s Lorain home without permission March 30.

JD Tomlinson, Miller’s attorney, said he had hoped to get the charge against his client dismissed, but Lorain City Prosecutor Barry Motsch refused to drop the case.

But Miller wanted the case to end, so he agreed to plead no contest to the reduced disorderly conduct charge, Tomlinson said. Miller was fined $100 after entering the plea in Lorain Municipal Court.

“He didn’t want for her to have to deal with it anymore,” Tomlinson said.

Marcia Miller told police that Joel Miller came over to her house around 6:30 p.m. the day of the incident and they had a glass of wine before going out for dinner. She said the evening became uncomfortable and she asked him to take her home.

After she got home, Marcia Miller told police, she locked her doors and eventually went to bed. She reported waking up around 11 p.m. to find Joel Miller in her bedroom and that he asked her if she wanted him to spend the night.

Instead, she told him she was calling police. Joel Miller reported that he handed her his phone to do so.

When police arrived, he told them he had come over because Marcia Miller had asked him to do so, but the officer who reviewed his text messages didn’t find any such message. Police also couldn’t find any signs of forced entry at Marcia Miller’s West Marina Parkway home.

Tomlinson said he thought Joel Miller may have had a winnable case if it had gone to trial.

“I still think he had a valid defense that he didn’t knowingly trespass,” he said.

Although a visiting judge was brought in to hear the case, Tomlinson said regular Lorain prosecutors handled the case. He doesn’t think his client received any special treatment because of that.

“In my opinion, (Motsch) gave what he would have given anybody in that situation,” Tomlinson said.

Miller was given a couple weeks off after the incident, but has since returned to work, Tomlinson has said.

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