Miles tells judge he's unhappy with representation in homicide case

State Line, Pa., man is charged in 2010 slaying of Hagerstown woman

January 23, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH |
  • Jeffrey Eldon Miles Sr. leaves the Franklin County (Pa.) Courthouse in this file photo.
Herald-Mail file photo

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — A man charged with criminal homicide in the April 2010 stabbing death of a Hagerstown mother told a Franklin County, Pa., judge Monday he is frustrated with how his court case is proceeding.

Pennsylvania State Police allege Jeffrey E. Miles Sr., 48, of State Line, Pa., killed a woman identified in court documents as a confidential informant. The body of Kristy Dawn Hoke was found in a wooded area off East Ninth Street in Waynesboro, Pa.

On Monday morning, Miles appeared before Judge Douglas Herman in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas for a hearing about defense motions. The hearing opened with Miles telling the judge he was upset only one of his two court-appointed attorneys was present.

“The court system has (had) plenty of time to reschedule this for him to be here. ... He should be here to speak on my behalf,” Miles said.

Public Defender Mike Toms said a trial in neighboring Cumberland County, Pa., required the presence of Miles’ other attorney, Eric Weisbrod.

Herman proceeded with a few scheduling issues and updates, but said he would save more pressing matters until Miles had full representation.

One of the most significant motions pending is a request to dismiss the Franklin County District Attorney’s Office’s notice of aggravating circumstances, which is a document required for prosecutors to seek the death penalty.

“Very seldom does a defendant have a burden of proof, ... but in this circumstance, when you’re seeking dismissal of notice of aggravating circumstances, the defendant has to come forward (proving) that no aggravating circumstances exist,” Herman said.

Miles claimed his attorneys do not talk to him for months at a time.

When the judge asked if Weisbrod had visited the jail last week, Miles said the attorney dropped off paperwork but did not talk in detail with him.

“I’m entitled to a fair trial. I’m entitled to good and fair counsel,” he said.

Herman issued a court order that contained a section calling for the defense team to keep Miles advised and provided with sufficient information, although he said he doesn’t “expect them to be at the jail every single day.” He asked the defendant if he requests specific things of his attorneys in writing.

Miles also told the judge he wants a private investigator assigned.

“I feel I need a private investigator because (the case is based on) evidence I had given almost two years ago. ... Evidence will be lost,” Miles said, adding that he fears witnesses’ memories will change.

A mitigation expert working for the defense team will partner with an investigator, Herman said.
Police discovered a second set of human remains six miles away on the day they found Hoke’s body. Angie Lynn Daley, a teenager who went missing in 1995, was identified through dental records.

No one has been charged in Daley’s death, which was classified as homicide by blunt force head trauma.

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