By MARK LAW, Staff Writer
POSTED: March 9, 2010
STEUBENVILLE - Travis Miller, 27, of Lisbon was sentenced Monday by Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge Joseph Bruzzese Jr. to life in prison without parole eligibility for 15 years in connection with the Sept. 21 shooting death of his father.
Shelby F. Miller, 56, of 102 Boyce St., East Liverpool was shot once in the back of the head at a fishing spot along Yellow Creek off state Route 213, Hammondsville.
The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department believes there was an altercation between the father and son prior to the shooting.
Travis Miller fled the area in his father's pickup truck and drove to his mother's house in Tennessee.
Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla learned through Columbiana County authorities of the mother's residence in Tennessee and contacted the Morgan County Sheriff's Department to go to the mother's house.
The mother told Morgan County sheriff's deputies that Travis Miller was at a hospital in Oak Ridge, Tenn., Abdalla said. Oak Ridge Police then went to the hospital and arrested Travis Miller.
Morgan County sheriff's deputies went back to the mother's house and found Shelby Miller's vehicle near the house.
Travis Miller was indicted on charges of aggravated murder, murder, theft of a vehicle and theft of a credit card.
County Assistant Prosecutor Jane Hanlin said all but the murder charge was dismissed as part of the plea agreement with Travis Miller.
When asked by Bruzzese what he did, Miller said, "I shot my father. I know I shouldn't have."
Ellen Anstine of Alliance, the daughter of the victim and brother of the defendant, said during her victim impact statement that her father was her "rock."
"My father and I were very close. I talked to him almost every day. I miss him dearly. Shelby was a kind, gentle man with a giving heart and I am a better person because of him," she said.
"Not only did we lose our father, but I also lost my brother as well. I remember the day Travis N. Miller was born. Today I look at Travis as two different people. The first is my baby brother whom I will always love, and then this man who stands before us who had the audacity to take our father's life. This man is not a brother to me. I have decided that after this day I do not want to hear my brother's name. To me he is dead," Anstine said.
Travis Miller told the judge at sentencing that he understands what he did was wrong and also apologized to his family.
"I understand what I've done is very wrong. I wish I could explain why I did it. There is no way to explain what goes through someone's mind," he said.
(Law can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)