Accused arsonist's trial set for December
GREENCASTLE -- A trial date has been set for a Greencastle man accused in an August arson.
Timothy L. Miller, 40, was arrested and charged with Class D felonies arson and criminal mischief on Aug. 17. His bond was set at $10,000 cash only, and he has remained in the Putnam County Jail.
Miller's court-appointed attorney Sidney Tongret and Chief Deputy Prosecutor Justin Long have been unable to reach a plea agreement both sides are happy with, and on Oct. 25 a letter from Miller to the court in which Miller requested a speedy trial was filed.
Judge Matthew Headley took that request under advisement, and he granted it on Tuesday. Headley set Miller's trial for Dec. 15, and ordered that any plea agreements or motions pertaining to the jury trial must be filed no later than Dec. 2.
Also on Tuesday, Tongret filed a motion for bond reduction on Miller's behalf.
The charges against Miller stem from an Aug. 16 incident in which a vehicle belonging to Jerry Miller Jr. of Greencastle was set on fire in front of the alleged victim's home.
Witnessed told police they had seen "a drunk or intoxicated man dump gasoline on a green Jeep Wrangler, set it on fire and then walk away," court documents said.
Another witness claimed she saw "Tim Miller standing on the corner, drunk with a gas can, next to the Jeep."
The 1995 Jeep was destroyed, and a small camper next to it sustained smoke and heat damage.
Jerry Miller claimed Timothy Miller set the vehicle on fire as retribution for Jerry Miller accusing Timothy Miller of stealing narcotics from him several days earlier.
"Jerry Miller stated that over the next few days, Tim continued to harass both he and his wife, Lori," court documents said. "They repeatedly told him to stop, and (Timothy Miller) would only say that 'Jerry would be sorry.'"
Officers at the scene said Timothy Miller appeared "heavily intoxicated," and that he had trouble maintaining his balance. Police were unable to get a breath sample.
Miller's clothing was tested for hydrocarbons, a byproduct of gasoline. Miller's shoes and pants both produced very strong measurements, court records said.
In addition, court records said, Miller appeared to have slight burns on his right hand.
If convicted on both counts, Miller could be sentenced to a maximum prison sentence of six years.