Man charged with killing Hagerstown woman wants to defend himself

Jeffrey E. Miles Sr., accused of murder in Kristy Dawn Hoke's death, also seeks case reassigned to a new judge

February 09, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH |
  • Kristy Dawn Hoke
Submitted photo

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — The defendant in a murder case wrote in court documents filed this week that he wants to get rid of his attorneys and have his case assigned to a new judge.

Jeffrey E. Miles Sr., 48, of State Line, Pa., is charged with killing Hagerstown resident Kristy Dawn Hoke in April 2010. Her slashed body was found in a forested area of the Borough of Waynesboro.

Miles has submitted several motions on his own behalf, including the latest one filed Wednesday in which he laments a “carnival atmosphere” around his court proceedings.

“Defendant submits that given the choice between continuing on with current representation of counsel or proceed(ing) on his own, that he would rather choose the latter,” Miles wrote.

He invoked his constitutional right to self-representation and also submitted as “Exhibit A” an illustration depicting several people as clowns, including the district attorney, defense attorneys and judge.


“There’s a lot of tomfoolery going on behind the kangaroo court proceedings. Surprise court appearances of which defendant is not apprised of ahead of time connotes a carnival atmosphere,” Miles wrote.

The court declared Miles indigent when he was first charged with criminal homicide and assigned Public Defender Mike Toms to his case. In November 2010, a judge appointed Waynesboro, Pa., attorney Eric Weisbrod as co-counsel for the defense.

Toms said Thursday he saw Miles’ request for new counsel, but he declined to comment on it.

Miles’ most recent filing asks that Franklin County (Pa.) Court of Common Pleas Judge Douglas Herman recuse himself from future proceedings associated with the case.

The defendant cites “all the publicity in and around the area,” the judge’s “dealings with those associated with this case within the courthouse,” and his belief there are “a lot of clandestine meetings going on with the prosecution and the judge.”

A hearing on pretrial motions is scheduled for March 9.

Last month, Miles filed motions asking that his case be dismissed or bail be set. Those motions hint at a possible defense planned for trial or future proceedings.

“The defendant asserts that he was acting in justifiable self-defense. Defendant states that he did not bring the scissors to the wooded area,” Miles wrote Jan. 9.

Prosecutors have said in court that they believe a pair of scissors was the murder weapon.

Pennsylvania State Police encountered a possibly suicidal Miles on an Interstate 81 bridge at the same time they were investigating Hoke’s disappearance. Miles allegedly made references to “Krissy” or “Kristy” when talking to a trooper.

Less than six hours after finding Hoke’s body, police recovered a teenager’s remains from a farm about six miles away. Those skeletal remains were identified as Angie Lynn Daley, who was 17 in 1995 when her family in Waynesboro reported her missing.

No criminal charges have been filed related to Daley’s beating death.

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