Attorneys seek change of venue for State Line, Pa. man accused of killing Kristy Dawn Hoke

Lawyers for Jeffrey Eldon Miles Sr. also want to suppress some of his statements

April 05, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH |
  • Jeffrey Eldon Miles Sr. leaves the Franklin County (Pa.) Courthouse in this file photo.
Herald-Mail file photo

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Attorneys for a man charged with killing a police informant a year ago have asked a Franklin County, Pa., judge to move the location of the trial and suppress some of the defendant's statements.

A hearing is scheduled for April 26 on motions filed by the defense for Jeffrey Eldon Miles Sr., a State Line, Pa., man charged with criminal homicide in the death of Kristy Dawn Hoke. The Hagerstown woman's body was found a year ago today in a wooded area in Waynesboro.

Contained in pretrial motions is a request to change the venue of the trial due to media coverage and Internet content that has "reached virtually every household in Franklin County." The motion said that the coverage has been prejudicial to Miles, because it "consistently included reference to an alleged confession" as well as references to Miles leading police to Hoke's body and a second body.

Miles, who turns 48 on Friday, cannot have a fair and impartial trial in Franklin County, according to the motion.

The motion also claimed that police obtained several incriminating statements without affording him a Miranda warning or waiver of those rights. As a result, defense attorneys Mike Toms and Eric Weisbrod asked the court to suppress those statements from the trial.

Toms and Weisbrod, who did not return calls seeking comment Tuesday, have asked Judge Douglas W. Herman to strike a notice of aggravating circumstances filed by the Franklin County District Attorney's Office. That notice is required for the prosecution to seek the death penalty.

The aggravating circumstances included in the Aug. 31, 2010, notice are: the defendant committed the killing while in the perpetration of a felony; the offense was committed by means of torture; the defendant committed the killing while in the perpetration of a drug-related felony; and the victim was a confidential informant.

In asking the judge to strike the notice of aggravating circumstances, the defense has said the circumstances did not legally constitute torture, and there is no proof that Miles knew about Hoke's role as an informant.

Franklin County Coroner Jeffrey R. Conner said Hoke was killed April 3, 2010. Her body was found the morning of April 6, 2010, in the south end of Waynesboro borough.

Pennsylvania State Police found human remains on a farm west of Waynesboro hours after finding Hoke's body. Those remains were identified as Angie L. Daley, who was 17 years old when she was reported missing in Waynesboro in 1995.

Troopers have said the cases are related, but won't say how.

Assistant District Attorney Eric Augustine said in court Oct. 26, 2010, that investigators believe they have recovered a pair of scissors used to kill Hoke, who had three children. She had obtained a new job as a server at Golden Corral shortly before her death.

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