Appeals Court Judge Mike Murphy wrote the opinions in a pair of cases from the Ashley County Circuit Court involving Timothy Miller who was convicted of delivery of methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a school, use of a communications device in commission of a drug offense and fleeing. The court announced the opinions on Jan. 15.
A jury before Judge Sam Pope heard the original charges in which Miller was convicted of three counts of delivery of methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a school (two for less than two grams, one for more than two grams but less than 10 grams), use of a communication device in commission of a drug offense, and fleeing. Miller was sentenced to 50 years in prison.
According to the appeals court’s opinion, the evidence and testimony indicated that Ashley County Deputy Tad Huntsman on Oct. 18, 2017, “was working as an undercover officer in the Crossett area with an informant who said he could purchase drugs from Miller. The informant called Miller and arranged to purchase half a gram of methamphetamine. The informant had the call on speaker, and Huntsman listened. The parties all agreed to meet at Sixth and Arkansas Streets in Crossett in a lot across the street from the school that is on the adjacent corner. Huntsman later testified that the distance from the school to where the drug transaction took place is 198 feet.”
The officer said that, “Miller got into the back seat of the car, handed the informant a baggie of methamphetamine, and took the money the informant handed him. Huntsman took possession of the drugs from the informant at that time and later packaged the methamphetamine and sent it to the state crime laboratory.” The next day, Huntsman contacted the informant to purchase a half-gram of methamphetamine, meeting at the same place, and with the same results.
Miller then said he could get a larger amount of methamphetamine, and Miller gave Huntsman his phone number. On Oct. 24, 2017, the officer called Miller directly and arranged to buy an ounce of methamphetamine for $600. Huntsman photocopied the money used in the buy.
Miller eventually went inside his house and returned with a box containing the drugs. Huntsman dropped Miller off the lot at Sixth and Arkansas. When Miller was arrested later that day, Huntsman recovered $200 of the photocopied bills.
Christy Williford, a chemist at the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, testified that she tested the substances from the transactions with Miller and that the baggies contained .5790 grams, .5881 grams, and 10.0217 grams of methamphetamine, respectively.
Deputy Jay Griffin testified that when he told Miller he was under arrest, Miller ran for 50 or 60 yards, and then tripped and fell.
The opinion concludes that the appeal of the initial charges was without merit and that “substantial evidence supports all of Miller’s convictions.”
In the second case, the court agreed with Miller’s attorney, Gary W. Potts, ruling that “challenges to the sufficiency of the evidence...would be wholly frivolous and without merit” because the appeals court had affirmed the convictions. Miller had argued that his probation should not have been revoked. As a result of the revocation, he was sentenced to 72 months in prison, concurrent with the term on the original charges.
Miller, now 35, is being held in the East Ark. Max Unit in Marianna. He will be eligible for parole in 2034.