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Filings provide glimpses of defense strategy for Pa. man charged in two homicides

Attorneys for Jeffrey E. Miles Sr. asked for and received a delayed start to his first trial

January 24, 2013|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com
  • Jeffrey E. Miles Sr.
Jeffrey E. Miles Sr.

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — The defense team working for a Pennsylvania man charged in two homicides is investigating evidence of possible mental illnesses, developmental delays, head injuries and substance abuse addiction to use at trial.

Because of that work, attorneys for Jeffrey E. Miles Sr. asked for and received a delayed start to his first trial. Jury selection was scheduled for Feb. 4.

“It is clear that effective representation of Mr. Miles will require additional months of investigation and litigation,” Miles’ court-appointed attorneys wrote in a defense motion filed Jan. 17.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for the April 2010 stabbing death of 29-year-old Kristy Dawn Hoke, of Hagerstown. Miles, 49, is charged separately in the 1995 bludgeoning death of Waynesboro teenager Angie Lynn Daley.

Miles, whose last known address was State Line, Pa., is charged with a single count of criminal homicide in each case.

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Defense attorneys Eric Weisbrod and Kristen Hamilton wrote in court filings that some potential witnesses for the Hoke trial were identified only after prosecutors filed charges last year related to Daley’s death.

Both a private investigator and a mitigation specialist, who develops information to be used during sentencing, are conducting interviews and gathering documents in the case.

“The defense team’s investigation thus far suggests that Mr. Miles’ life history is comprised of a debilitating and damaging mix of possible developmental delays, head injuries, poor school performance, ineffective institutional living, mental illness and extreme substance addiction,” the defense team wrote in its motion.

Court of Common Pleas Judge Douglas Herman granted the trial delay and scheduled status conferences for Feb. 11 and 12.

Pennsylvania State Police recovered Hoke’s body from a wooded area of the Borough of Waynesboro on April 6, 2010. Court documents identify the mother of three as a confidential informant for law enforcement.

The Jan. 17 defense motion calls drug addiction something “that Miles has suffered through for almost his entire adult life, spanning hundreds of associations, including the purported victim in this case” and says he was previously incarcerated related to drug activity. That motion also claims Miles sustained several head injuries.

“The instances are a result of Mr. Miles playing football in ... high school, college and as a semi-professional. Mr. Miles also was involved in boxing, in which he sustained additional head injuries,” the motion states.

Additionally, the defense team states it has documentation suggesting Miles has long lived with a mental illness.

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