By GARY POPP
JEFFERSONVILLE — A man believed to have shot his wife twice in the leg while in their Jeffersonville home Thursday appeared in Clark County Circuit Court No. 1 on Tuesday.
Fredrick Miller, 41, avoided Jeffersonville Police Department authorities for nearly four days before he turned himself into authorities Monday. He now faces one count A felony attempted murder and a string of additional felony charges.
Miller came to the court in a Clark County jail-issued orange jumpsuit and told Judge Daniel Moore, “I am not a criminal.”
Moore said his statement appeared to contradict circumstance of the shooting.
Jeffersonville police said Monday that after Miller was initially taken into custody, he admitted to shooting his wife.
The incident took place about 1 a.m. at their apartment in a quadraplex located at 813 Colonial Park Drive. Police said the shooting occurred after Miller had threatened his wife several times and displayed a handgun.
The woman attempted to escape the home through a window, before Miller allegedly shot her while she held their 1-year-old child, and their 2-and 3-year old children were in the immediate area. Police reported a third round was fired that entered an occupied apartment below, but no one was injured.
Miller told the court that during the four days he eluded police he had been in contact with his wife. Moore issued a no contact order for Miller not the have any communication with his wife, who has been released from the hospital.
A not guilty plea was entered on Miller’s behalf during the hearing, at which time Moore set his bond at $125,000 court-cash, which means Miller could be released if a $12,500 bond is posted.
Clark County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jeremy Mull suggested Moore set the bond at $100,000 full cash.
“I thought a high cash bond was appropriate in this case,” Mull said after the hearing. “Here is a guy who shot the mother of his children twice while she was holding their baby.”
Mull said it is fortunate more people were not injured as Miller recklessly fired the firearm in the home.
“It was obviously a situation that put everyone in a great deal of danger,” Mull said. “The children, thankfully, were not injured, but they were right there in the line of fire where they could have been hit or a ricochet bullet could have hit them.”
Mull also responded to Miller’s statement that he had been communicating with his wife as police canvassed the area trying to locate his whereabouts.
“He has been in contact with her, but I can tell you that we were trying to get him to turn himself in,” Mull said. “We were trying to find him. So, the reason that he was in contact with her may not be the reason he thought he was in contact with her.”
Mull said he wasn’t fazed by Miller’s declarations in the court that he was not a criminal and that area media had misrepresented the incident.
“Well, that’s the blame game,” Mull said. “To pull out a pistol and to aim it at a person holding a baby and to shoot her intentionally twice, that makes you a criminal. Although [Miller] may disagree with that, he is a criminal. He has been charged as a criminal and will be convicted as a criminal.”
In addition to the attempted murder, Miller has been charged with aggravated battery, a class B felony; criminal recklessness with a firearm, a class C felony; three counts of neglect of a dependent, all class D felonies; intimidation with a deadly weapon and interference with reporting of a crime, a class A misdemeanor.
He does not yet have an attorney and is next due in court for a pretrial conference April 18.
To see Miller’s comments to area as he was escorted out of the courtroom, log on to newsandtribune.com