July 30, 2014

Elyria
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Prosecutors: Intimidation is making witnesses stay silent in Miller trial

Bohannon Miller reacts to a witness at his aggravated murder trial Thursday in Judge James Miraldi's courtroom. KRISTIN BAUER/CHRONICLE

Bohannon Miller reacts to a witness at his aggravated murder trial Thursday in Judge James Miraldi’s courtroom. KRISTIN BAUER/CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — The fear that has hovered at the edges of Bohannon Miller’s aggravated murder trial was in the open Thursday as prosecutors told Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Miraldi that two witnesses were refusing to testify because they were worried about retaliation.

One witness, Raymond Fowler, told authorities that he would rather face a murder charge and possible life in prison than take the stand against Miller, who is accused of gunning down Marquis McCall during a June 22, 2009, drive-by shooting in Lorain.

“His exact quote was, ‘At least I’ll still be breathing,’ ” Lorain police Detective Buddy Sivert testified.

Assistant County Prosecutor Sherry Glass has asked that Sivert be allowed to tell the jury what Fowler and Larry Blake, who also faces murder and other charges in the McCall shooting, would have testified to if they were to take the stand. Blake also is refusing to testify in Miller’s trial.

Defense attorney Denise Wilms has argued that allowing someone else to testify about what Fowler said would deny Miller his constitutional right to confront his accusers. Glass countered that because Miller was responsible for the threats keeping Fowler off the stand, he had forfeited the right to confront the man.

Assistant County Prosecutor Tony Cillo, the county’s chief criminal prosecutor, testified that he was involved in cutting a deal with Fowler in which he agreed to cooperate in helping prosecute both Miller and Brady Phillips, who faces murder charges in an unrelated 2009 home invasion in Elyria that left two people dead and another wounded.

Prosecutors agreed not to charge Fowler in connection with the McCall shooting in exchange for his testimony. Fowler was expected to testify that he was in the car when Miller carried out the drive-by shooting in Lorain that left McCall dead and Craig Roberson wounded. Police believe that shooting was retaliation for the killing of Christopher Hill only hours before.

Bohannon Miller and his his attorney, Denise Wilms, arrive in court on Thursday.

Bohannon Miller and his his attorney, Denise Wilms, arrive in court on Thursday.

Cillo said Fowler, who is serving an eight-year prison sentence for drug, robbery, gang and other charges, told him during a meeting this week that while he has been in prison he has been attacked several times by members of the Heartless Felons, a gang Miller is allegedly connected to. Fowler believes those attacks were motivated by him being a “snitch,” Cillo said.

Miller is serving prison time on gang, weapons and other charges.

Sivert testified that Fowler told him that since his arrival at the Lorain County Jail last month he has had two encounters with Miller through glass partitions that separate the different areas of the jail where they are housed.

Fowler told Sivert that Miller had shown him court documents and told him that he would be the only witness to testify against him. Miller also allegedly told Fowler that he knew the names of his three nieces, something Fowler took as a threat against his family, Sivert said.

Jail Administrator Andy Laubenthal said Thursday that when Fowler arrived at the jail, he requested to be placed in protective custody because he feared for his safety. He also said that Fowler had found urine thrown under the door of his cell at the county jail.

Cillo said Fowler made it clear to him what would happen if he were called to the stand as a witness against Miller.

“He would lie and submarine our entire case,” Cillo said.

Miraldi said he plans to meet privately with Fowler to discuss his concerns about taking the stand before making a decision on allowing Sivert to testify in his stead. The judge also said the two sides will be able to address the issues surrounding Blake’s refusal to testify during a hearing today.

The hearing on the alleged intimidation consumed most of the day Thursday and one of the few witnesses called, Terry Atkinson, said he didn’t want to be there and didn’t remember anything having to do with the McCall shooting.

“I don’t want to be involved ‘cause I feel he didn’t do it,” Atkinson said.

As the lawyers and the judge were discussing the situation, Miller became upset that Atkinson was still on the stand.

“He already pled the Fifth (Amendment),” Miller called out as Wilms tried to get him to be quiet.

Miraldi pointed out that Atkinson wasn’t trying to claim he could face charges if he testified, but was rather saying he didn’t remember anything.

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

  • My1stLove

    Besides Mr.Bohannon being too cute to be so dangerous i have alot of questions about this.Was something done to his fellow gang members when they attacked the Fowler boy?Was Fowler placed in protective custody when he arrived at the jail like he asked(he should not have asked & that should have done automatically).Fowler saying he’d rather face life in prison than take the stand…..Does Bohannon really have this much pull???

    • ohio 30th!!!!

      If you go on the lorain common pleas docket an type in millers name and go to the 3page it shows when fowler, capers, and white cameback from prison the courts made sure they all be separated it was court ordered. . The courts and this media trying make a young man look like a monster..

      • Toad

        it sounds like u know him. if so u know inside yourself that he is a monster

        u must be his relative or member of his gang

        • ohio 30th!!!!

          No I just do my research something I see you dont do.. it look like you hate him for no reason? You must love to keyboard think and if you dont know what that means just ask.. your a media believer never look into it on your own just believe what they say.. if the media tell you the sky is green you’ll believe it instead of going outside to findout yourself. . Look I graduated from youngstown state with a 3.8 got my degree in 2 1/2 years and on top of that been to prison 4 times and own 16 houses and businesses outside of this county. . See thats putting in my own footwork an not always believing what comes across a new cast or in the paper.. so you’ll never be as smart, acomplish, or think like a winner cause you let people think for you

          • stillsleepyeyes

            toad doesn’t need to think…………………ombama phone and computer …………….and of course snap…………….toad does what the d’s tell toad to do……………that’s toads life……….government receiver the believer……………

          • Bob Owens

            You got you one of dem Reagan phones?

          • Mark B

            Yea a real winner being to prison 4 times

          • My1stLove

            LoL….

          • Toad

            then give all these men a place to live in 1 of ur 16 houses. maybe each gang can have their own. if they are great people then they will make great renters

            i bet that will never happen

          • Toad

            that is the problem. u dont know him. my research comes from the street not any media reports. i think my research is more acurate since i seen it myself

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            Based on your butchering of the English language, I’m scratching my head, trying to figure out what type of degree you have.

          • Toad

            and he hast a 3.8 college degree

          • ohio 30th!!!!

            Cause this aint meant to be written perfect sorry im not a keyboard thinker like yall just sit here an waste me day on the keyboard lol..

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            If it takes any effort to use proper English…

          • ohio 30th!!!!

            I know you got to be old cause no one on here use proper English. . So either you old or out the culture loop.. look at toad comments. . Anyways how do you pronounce your last name damn cause its really not proper English

          • Larry Crnobrnja

            If everyone decided to jump off the George Washington Monument, would you jump too?

          • beety

            I hope so! All his friends are doing it! ……… Did he go yet?

          • jz

            Many names that have european roots are spelled way different than they sound because they began in another language, perhaps croatian or german? It does not take a college degree to know that. You are full of bs.

          • silkskin1960

            You dont have to be OLD to use proper English….thats something a 3.8 graduate would be doing already…(CHECK MATE)

          • Zen Grouch

            As far as I can tell “Toad” is this poster’s third moniker here.

            He’s butchering the language as a cover, but has settled in on the proper balanced of messed up syntax to suit his annoying style.

            At first he was way overboard, but that wasn’t getting the responses he requires.

          • Toad

            i nobodies third monkey. you are the annoying one.

          • silkskin1960

            If you had a 3.8 then you should have enough sense not to post something so stupid and beyond. Look…Mr. DEGREE of 3.8….maybe its time for you to go back and try for 4.0 unless you were a witness to the crime…you dont have ANYTHING substantial to say.

          • ohio 30th!!!!

            You sound dumber then the last person!! Mr.Miller is about to beat this bs case an the case he in prison for is about to get over turned so he’ll probably read yall comments an show up at yall door step…

          • silkskin1960

            Lmao….well according to you, you’ll be in CALI…so you’ll never know now will you? Lol….did your GPA of 3.8 teach you that too….ROFLMAO….you must have purchased that online too….lmao

          • ohio 30th!!!!

            Im still on the flight.. oh I can tell you never been nowhere you probably didnt know planes got wifi dummy..

          • silkskin1960

            Should’nt someone with a 3.8 GPA have better things to do than to consort with a media website? (things that make you go HMMMMM)…I fguess you missed that class hunh??

          • beety

            That’ s probably not addressed in the prison version! I love this ignorance ! LOL!

        • My1stLove

          Really Toad? You have the nerves to post a comment like this?They way you talked so about Ziare & Zsanasa the other day.

          • Toad

            bohannon is in jail now because of a run in with the brother of ziaire. did u not know this. that is why he was arrested and put in jail a couple years ago and is still in jail because of it

            it is all related. garbage does hang out with garbage. time to call the trash collector and get this trash off r streets

            y do people keep defending those wit long criminal records. they harm our neighborhoods families n children.

            i just hope if found inocent when he gets out from his current sentence he does not hurt anyone else. if you knew him you would understand

            so we have gang members, drug dealers, thiefs, carrying guns ,not showing up for their court dates, fleeing from police in a high sped chase, being on the most wanted list

            but these are all really good and nice people who deserve a break in life because people dont understand them

            i may not have a 3.8 from college but i aint stupid. why do u want them in ur neighbor hood

          • ohio 30th!!!!

            If he knows them kind of trash like toad calls them then what does that make toad. Either toad is a police officer or aperson that be working with the police, or he hangs with these people cause I know both families real good but I know the truth to by what the media trying to but out there and what both families is saying.. and they both know my stand on it. The victims mother name is jaskie shall I go on..

      • My1stLove

        O are they all in the same case?This gets worse by the hour

        • ohio 30th!!!!

          No all of them aint.. some of them just told lies to try and get out the trouble they are in.. this case is 5yrs old why wasnt Mr.Miller charged then and most importantly where was these witnesses then. Oh they came to life when they went to prison or got in trouble.. now no one wants to get on the stand its not cause they scared its cause they cant remember their lies and dont want to get charge with perjury witch carries up to 5yrs.. please dont let the media twist yall minds read the case even in the newspaper everything sounds fishy..

        • Toad

          he is in jail because of a fight with ziaires brother and was found guilty of gang activity during that fight

          i think this case is related

          • ohio 30th!!!!

            Your wrong.. you a police officer if o tell you who I am you’ll be kissing my feet, but I know it be policer officers on here commenting trying sway the public judgement..

          • Toad

            they must be giving more computer time in the jails thes days. you writing a lot

            why would i kiss ur feet. r u jesus

  • michelle

    reminds me of the show “The Wire.”

  • Don Grantzki

    Fowler would be better off if he was in general population and found a way to deal with his fellow hoodrat, himself. If they both end up in the same prison, he’ll have to deal with it, eventually.

    • Toad

      put them all in the same cell n let them settle it. better then a ufc fight. we can sell tickets

      • ohio 30th!!!!

        Toad you didnt your research from the streets cause you never been to the streets you stay behind your keyboard. . You know what toad your a police cause you contradicted yourself, and the street got some many stories and if you got it from the you wouldve heard what I heard.. so your lying you dont know that man but I sure know people that know him. And this aint something to write perfect on.i might buy the house you stay in or apartment… I hope he gets found not guilty and show up at your door I love to see your face lol

      • Simon Jester

        Best idea all night…

    • My1stLove

      They’ll make sure they wont be in the same prison im sure.

  • oldschool

    The state needs to start executing these thugs !! Either in prison or on the streets we are still feeding and housing them!! Hood rats and company need to be extinct!!

    • ohio 30th!!!!

      You sound stupid..

      • oldschool

        Oh, ok by the looks of your short biography it seems you may be a slow learner aka stupid?

        • ohio 30th!!!!

          You more stupid then I thought.. I see you cant even keep up with your own conversation or comment you made. I just replied.. you got the right name oldschool..

        • beety

          Call the short bus someone fell off….

  • ohio 30th!!!!

    I hear they kicked everyone out the court room so fowler could get on the stand.. heres my take on it how can some one be charge for murder then say he was in the car with the person but walk scott free cause he lied to get himself out of it just dont add up but this is our court system

    • Toad

      they all squealing like pigs now.

    • Toad

      but will all end up being bacon

    • beety

      Dear lord ….learn how to talk AND write intelligently !!!!! PLEASE!!

      • ohio 30th!!!!

        I know you dont got nothing in your life going on, being slaved at your job an still come home barely making it.. but hey im going to San Diego in about 10hrs talk to yall when I get back.. let yall pray for this young man get found guilty while im going be enjoying that cali weather.. oh I dont believe in jessus hes a fictional being, theres not facts he ever existed.. know your knowledge

        • ohio 30th!!!!

          Intelligence, heres a teaching don’t use” AND” in a sentence if it ain’t followed by an vowel

          • beety

            What’s your basis for that? Please educate me!

          • beety

            p.s! ain’t…..AIN’T a word!

          • Mike

            That makes absolutely no sense…

          • beety

            Don’t argue with this genius… Haven’t you read the comments? He is better than all of us. Lol …. never a shortage of ignorance is there?

          • jz

            an vowel?

          • silkskin1960

            How about this one…..If you have a college degree why would you EVER lower your standards to speak so improperly that this is not known by a simple conversation with you? Bye boy…..you have wasted enough of our time.

          • willlam

            HEY,silk. Haven’t heard from you in a long time! Remember the good ol’ days at the Showcase?

          • beety

            I thought your friend was taking you to Cali on the “plane”?

        • Toad

          stay in cali and help us all out

          • ohio 30th!!!!

            You’ll never see nothing but elyria, never be nothing to leave your offsprings beside bills; if you got any.. cause you dont know how to do nothing by yourself besides work for someone company instead of owning your.. you lack discipline an motivation. . You content with barely making it howsoever, im never content with my life I always got to do better then the day before; an help myself learning. Something you’ll never do you probably and adult living on the southside of Elyria an dont know hoe to contribute to your community to make it better , cause you cant think that far

          • beety

            Howsoever? someone company? You content? than? and? help myself learning? and adult? hoe to contribute? I am ignoring punctuation too… Do you know what that be?

          • ohio 30th!!!!

            Its 12:28am get some rest, cause I am I’ll be on here at 12or1pm

          • beety

            You right, you defnitly is smart. Yo genius is showing all ova the place!

          • willlam

            …ohio30th has succeeded. Boy,you were easy.

          • beety

            Yeah, that’s clearly what happened here. Please try to keep up!

          • My1stLove

            cthu @ u..lol

          • beety

            Don’t post anything until after 3 pm ! I will be on the boat to Arizona!

          • ohio 30th!!!!

            A comma always come after “howsoever”.. you made yourself look stupid they do got goggle now go on there and it always been a Webster dictionary. .

          • beety

            I’m sure it always been a Webster dictionary! Like I said replying ASAP to this $hit! Ignorance is always entertaining!

          • willlam

            What is ignorant, is you having this conversation with ohio30th! He suckered you right into his world.

          • beety

            You are a day late! probably, what had happened was yo internet got cut off, because the way yo bank account is set up…. LOL GAFL!

          • My1stLove

            Beety..I’m through with you,William,Ohio30th!!! & Toad…I’m really cthu at you guys.You all are too funny!..lmao

        • beety

          Look up grammar on the plane… pretty sure you’re not going anywhere though… You will be right there in the slums replying ASAP to this type of sh! You have been on here all day! So who doesn’t have anything going on in their life?

          • ohio 30th!!!!

            Im going to be doing that cause its wifi on the plane lol.. I know you hate for someone that came from worse doing 100% better then you.. but we off the subject at hand this young man.. but thanks for the pub thats how I made money to, off of people like yall giving pub; im trying show yall how to advertise yourself then reap the greenery. . But yall got that lorain county way of thinking very small. Living form pay check to pay check.. I need rest speak to yall on the plane

          • beety

            Yeah be sure to talk to us from the ” plane “…. Maybe you should think about going back to prison to do a little more reading and research. I heard that the 5th time is the charm! ….

          • willlam

            Apparently you have been on this thread all day,as well….troll!

          • beety

            Who’s a troll? That was an ongoing conversation LAST NIGHT… catch up loser!

      • ohio 30th!!!!

        Intelligence, well heres a teaching don’t but” And” if it aint followed by a vowel. .

        • Toad

          i aint the sharpest knife in the drawre but you make toad look like a genius.

          • ohio 30th!!!!

            Toad can I write you off as an, tax write off

      • willlam

        WHY? This is an opinion page. Nobody cares what a persons opinion is and nobody cares! What are you, the grammar police?

        • beety

          Shut your mouth! If someone comes on here claiming to be so educated, and puts everyone else down, I have the right to call them out! Grammar does matter, if you are trying to get your point across! Once you make yourself sound stupid everyone discounts anything you say!

      • My1stLove

        LoL,they crazy.cthu at them

  • Simon Jester

    F***ing circus.

  • givemeabreak1234

    It is sad that the Lorain police dept. didn’t do a better job! If they don’t wish to testify then they shouldn’t. If this cop is allowed to “repeat” what was said it is hear say. sivert testifies the apelit court will have a field day with this case. sivert is not a honest person to begin with.

    • ohio 30th!!!!

      A least someone know what they talking about