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Miles pleads not guilty to criminal homicide

September 15, 2010
  • Jeffrey Eldon Miles Sr. arrives Wednesday at the Franklin County Courthouse in Chambersburg, Pa.
Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- A State Line, Pa., man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to criminal homicide in the April 3 stabbing death of a Hagerstown woman.

Jeffrey Eldon Miles Sr., 47, entered the plea during his arraignment before Judge Douglas Herman in Franklin County (Pa.) Court.

Pennsylvania State Police allege Miles stabbed Kristy Dawn Hoke, 29, and left her body in the woods off East Ninth Street in Waynesboro on Easter weekend.

The Franklin County District Attorney's Office has filed paperwork necessary for prosecutors to seek the death penalty.

At the end of arraignment, Miles signed and dated a document affirming his intention to plead not guilty. Most of the 40-minute hearing involved Herman reviewing procedural aspects such as scheduling, possible verdicts and motions, and maximum sentences associated with verdicts.

Miles referenced his rights to file various motions and said he wanted to "evoke all of them."

"It's somewhat unusual that each and every one of them apply," Herman said, saying Miles should decide with Public Defender Mike Toms which motions are appropriate.

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Miles seemed to take issue with the information as presented by the judge.

"Half of the people here didn't understand all of that. ... There's no one in here," he said, glancing around the courtroom, "that understood all that."

Herman summarized key points, including how criminal homicide can result in guilty verdicts of murder or manslaughter depending on malice. He reiterated that Miles can choose a trial by a judge or trial by a jury, but the prosecutor can insist on a jury. He reminded Miles that defendants may participate in jury selection.

"Does that make any sense to you?" Herman asked.

"That right there does," Miles said.

A case management conference is scheduled for Oct. 14.

Lawyers for both sides should be prepared to provide any photos, documents, forensics results, information needed for possible defenses, requests for psychiatric evaluations, lists of expert witnesses and requests for suppression of evidence, Herman said.

Franklin County (Pa.) Coroner Jeffrey R. Conner said Hoke was stabbed multiple times, but he has not released what type of instrument was used to cause those injuries. In court documents, Hoke is identified as having been a confidential government informant, which is one of the grounds on which the prosecution is seeking the death penalty.

State police have said information gathered during their investigation into Hoke's death led them to the skeletal remains of Angie Lynn Daley, who was 17 when she was reported missing in 1995. Her bones were found on a farm between Waynesboro and Greencastle, Pa.

No one has been criminally charged in Daley's death.

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