Sunday, December 03, 2023

Local man charged with witness intimidation

Staff Writer | May 26, 2023 1:00 AM

A Bonner County man who was arrested May 4 on a host of charges including robbery and aggravated assault, now faces an additional felony charge after police said he attempted to intimidate a witness.

Billy Miller, 18, remains jailed on charges that he allegedly attacked a minor and robbed him of his clothing before leaving him on the roadside in Sagle in nothing but his underwear. When questioned by police, court records allege Miller claimed he was home the whole day after getting off work. However, the alleged victim as well as another witness identified Miller at the scene, giving police enough cause to arrest him, according to court records.

A few days later on May 8, Miller made a call from the jail to his family. During this call, which was recorded per jail policy, Miller allegedly asked one of his brothers to convince his other brother to persuade the alleged victim to not press charges, according to court records.

“Let him know to not press charges,” Miller allegedly told his brother over the phone, court records said. “Don’t mention this to anyone else; I could get in trouble.”

Miller’s brothers were questioned and both denied having any contact with the witness, according to the probable cause affidavit. Police followed up with the alleged victim, court records indicate, who also said he has not been contacted by anyone in the family.

Both brothers were instructed by law enforcement to not contact the alleged victim in any way. If it is discovered that they have reached out, police advised them that they both will be arrested for felony conspiracy as well as felony witness intimidation, according to court records.

Miller was questioned by police and while he originally denied having intimidated anyone, he did admit to asking his brothers to ask the alleged victim to not press charges. According to Idaho State Law, witness intimidation is “any person who, by direct or indirect force … wilfully intimidates, influences, impedes, deters, threatens, harasses, obstructs or prevents a witness … in any civil proceeding from testifying freely, fully and truthfully in that civil proceeding.”

Because of this, Miller was charged with felony attempt to intimidate a witness. The preliminary hearing for this charge is set for May 31.

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