Local Politics

In-Laws: Keep Ann Miller Kontz Away From Daughter

Posted February 6, 2007

— The parents of murdered AIDS researcher Eric Miller on Tuesday asked a judge to block all contact between their granddaughter and their daughter-in-law, admitted killer Ann Miller Kontz.

Kontz confessed in November 2005 to using arsenic to fatally poison her husband five years earlier. She is serving a 25-year prison sentence.

District Judge Phyllis Gorham last April accepted an agreement to place the Millers' daughter in the custody of Kontz's sister and brother-in-law, Danielle and Dan Wilson of Wilmington. Verus and Doris Miller, Eric Miller's parents, have secondary custody of 7-year-old Clare Miller and frequently travel from their Indiana home to visit her in North Carolina.

The Millers' attorney, Robert Ponton, said they feel strongly that Clare should have no contact with her mother. Kontz previously had visits with her daughter in prison, but has only talked with her daughter on the phone since the custody agreement was reached.

"Our evidence will support there should be no contact between inmate Ann Miller and the minor child," Ponton said.

The Millers also want Gorham to rework the custody agreement to give them primary custody of Clare.

"I think she needs to know her father's side of the family," Verus Miller said, adding that Danielle Wilson had promised him she would help the couple gain custody if Kontz was convicted in the case.

But James Lea, the Wilsons' attorney, said pulling Clare out of the Wilson's home would be traumatic for the girl.

"She is extremely bonded to Dan and Danielle and is insecure at being taken away from them," Lea said. "You have a young child that at the end of the hearing ... could potentially not have a mother or father."

Psychologist Ginger Calloway testified on behalf of the Millers that it isn't in the girl's best interests to have a relationship with the woman who killed her father.

Attorney Al Clyburn, who represents Kontz, disagreed, saying that the girl will suffer over the long term if she isn't allowed to have contact with her mother.

"If Judge Gorham terminates contact, we will have a child who will not be able to have any contact with either of her biological parents," Clyburn said.

Kontz wasn't at the hearing. Clyburn said she didn't want to be a distraction.

"Ann is committed to this child. Ann wants what's best for this child," he said. "This child is absolutely the most important thing to her, and the outcome of this case is the most important thing."

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  • minginindustria Feb 9, 2007

    as a victim of crime with a child also involved...I am glad to see that most of you believe that Ann Miller should not see her daughter..I only hope that when our case goes to trial that you all will support us like you are the grandparents of Clare...Keep watching the news....it wont be much longer before a similar case is in the spot light!!!

  • nanny Feb 7, 2007

    The Millers should definitely have the child-this mother-is no
    mother-stop the abuse-my grandchild was victimized in child
    abuse by mother/boyfriend-mother sitting in prison-boyfriend
    out-we have no justice system. DO NOT VICTIMIZE HIS FAMILY

  • boggy1 Feb 7, 2007

    "Ann is committed to this child. Ann wants what's best for this child," he said. "This child is absolutely the most important thing to her, and the outcome of this case is the most important thing."

    A mom commited to her child and wants what's best for her child doesn't kill the child's father. It was all about her. She didn't have her child in mind when she was poisoning Eric.

  • ChesneyFan Feb 7, 2007

    fraiser95 I am sure you are aware that like lawyers, you can find doctors to go along with what your particular views are. This was a doctor hired by his family, and like anyone else they too are human and do have opinions. It would be more traumatic to uproot this child again, hasn't she been through enough already and it will continue. Also, just because they (Eric's family) doesn't want her to have contact with the daughter doesn't take away the fact that she is still her mom. I am also sure that they wouldn't be saying nice things about her mother to her, which is not in the best interest of the child either. I think they just want to isolate her from her mom's side of the family altogether. My prayers are with the little girl.

  • frasier95 Feb 7, 2007

    I guess nobody puts any stock in the child psychologists statement that contact with Ann is detrimental to the daughter. This is not a liberal or conservative argument, no matter what people may think. Err on the side of caution and the caution lies right with Kontz.

  • pardontheemail Feb 7, 2007

    She is still the child's maternal mother, and therefore has a right to contact with her daughter. Unless and until the child states that she does not want to have any contact or relationship with her mother, no-one has a right to deny her any contact.

  • givitanam Feb 7, 2007

    By letting the little girl stay with Ann's family, it's like Ann's winning something. It's like I saw someone else comment, she lost all her rights when she committed murder. I'm not saying the couple who has custody now shouldn't be allowed to visit, after all they didn't kill anyone, but the grandparents should get full permanant custody...in my opinion.

  • jeriwho Feb 7, 2007

    Anne Miller Koontz is not "out of her mind." She is perfectly sane, knew what she was doing, and did it. She lacks both empathy and conscience. That does not make her insane. It makes her evil. And there never was one indication, from anybody, that Eric Miller was ever abusive. He was a warm, loving man who was God-fearing and devoted to his family.
    Whoever that nut case musician is who married Anne can not possibly be as stable as Eric's parents. They have shown incredible dignity and commitment to their values and beliefs. I think that poor little girl has a lot to contend with in life, but her grandparents are two people who will see her through. Their goodness is really just as startling, but in the opposite direction, as Anne's evil.

  • Fence Straddler Feb 7, 2007

    This story is not very flattering to say the least. The child is going to end up like her if they decide to let her be in the daughters life. She's a convicted felon, she has no rights (that includes parental as well). Our criminal justice system is in turmoil.

  • RedStatesManWatts Feb 6, 2007

    LJKMWW- "no cruel or unusual punishment". It is interesting that the criminal always has no problem with applying "cruel and/or unusual punishment" to the victim! The so-called justice system in this nation is pathetic and I do not want to hear how much better it is than everywhere else in the world, of course it is, but it is a long way from being correct! Obviously, LJKMWW has never been a victim of a crime and God forbid it happens to you. She did the crime and now she must pay and having any rights is not acceptable. What about Eric's rights? WAKE UP AND ELIMINATE THE PATHETIC LIBERAL THOUGHT PROCESS!