Local News

N.C. Supreme Court To Hear Arguments Over Attorney-Client Privilege

Posted October 15, 2002

— The investigation into the arsenic poisoning death of Chapel Hill researcher Eric Miller has stalled. Miller died almost two years ago, but no one has been charged in his death.

As the North Carolina Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments Tuesday, Miller's parents and sisters are in Raleigh to show what they said is their confidence in the justice system.

The court will make a ruling on whether Raleigh Attorney Richard Gammon must tell what he knows, if anything, about the death of Eric Miller.

Gammon represented, Derril Willard, who committed suicide after investigators searched his home looking for information related Miller's death.

Investigators said Miller died of arsenic poisoning. Police said Willard was having an affair with Miller's wife, Ann.

The court will decide whether Gammon must violate the long-standing rule of attorney-client privilege.

The Millers said they are confident the court will rule that Gammon must speak.

"What Mr. Gammon has to say, we feel like everybody should know. I mean, we do not know what Mr. Willard said to him," said Doris Miller, Eric's mother.

The Miller's said they have not given much thought to the possibility that the court may rule that Gammon does not have to divulge what Willard may have told him.

"Well, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. We're optimistic that justice will be done and the truth will come out," said Verus Miller, Eric's father.

The Millers say they think of Eric all the time and making the trip from their home in Indiana to Raleigh is difficult.

"It's very hard being down here because you relive his sickness. You relive his death. You see the last few minutes," Doris said.

The state Supreme Court will hear the case Tuesday morning.

Because of the critical issue of attorney-client privilege, the decision could have a major impact nationwide. A decision is not expected quickly.

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