Statement: Miller Kontz Injected Substance Into Eric Miller's IV
Posted December 10, 2004
RALEIGH, N.C. — A judge in the case of a woman accused of murdering her husband with arsenic set her bond at $3 million after key statements were released during the bond hearing Friday that prosecutors say indicate the woman injected her husband's IV with a liquid.
In addition to the $3 million secured bond, Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens said Ann Miller Kontz must reside in Wake or New Hanover County while awaiting trial for the murder of her husband, Eric Miller. Miller Kontz is charged with killing Eric Miller by poisoning him.
Stephens' decision came after he said he needed time to decide what to do after "unexpected information" was released in court by the prosecution.
The information was potentially damaging testimony from a man who police say was having an affair with the defendant.
The man, Derril Willard, later killed himself. Before doing so, he told his attorney, Rick Gammon, about Ann Miller Kontz, telling him that she injected Eric Miller with a substance in his IV line during a hospital visit.
View Documents Released In Friday's Bond Hearing
A letter from the attorney was read by the prosecution to the judge. Gammon was compelled to tell prosecutors what Willard had told him about Miller's death.
Wake County Assistant District Attorney Becky Holt read paragraph 12, which said, "Mrs. Miller was crying and that she told (Willard) she had been to the hospital where Mr. Miller had been admitted. She stated to Mr. Willard that she was by herself in the room with Mr. Miller for a period of time. She then told Mr. Willard that she took a syringe and a needle from her purse and injected the contents of the syringe into Mr. Miller's IV. He then stated that he asked Mrs. Miller why she had done this and she replied, 'I don't know.'"
When Willard was asked why he thought Miller Kontz injected the substance in the IV, he said that he thought that she wanted to end her husband's suffering.
Willard's suicide note was also read in the courtroom Friday. Willard denied any role in Eric Miller's death.
"Frankly today has brought some unexpected information," Stephens said, before retiring to his chambers to decide the bond amount. "I need to contemplate it. I will take a few minutes and do that."
During the hearing Friday, several defense witnesses testified to Miller Kontz's stability and their belief that she would likely not flee if given bond.
"I think her love for God and Paul and Clare, that she would never hurt them," said Dan Brier, Miller Kontz's father. "She would not be a threat to herself or anyone in any way whatsoever."
For the Miller family the new and graphic information released Friday was hard to hear. They were visibly stunned to hear newly released memo.
"We were thinking of all our son went through, all the suffering," said Doris Miller. "The painful death he had. We were also thinking of our great loss."
Although the judge allowed the documents in Friday's hearing, it is unclear if the statement from Willard's lawyer will be admissible at trial
"I think the evidence is admissible," said Colon Willoughby, Wake County district attorney. "I think it's compelling, I think it's the best indication of an acknowledgement of her admission of guilt."
The defense claims that the statement is false.
"If it's not truthful, which we believe we can show that it's not on it's face, and he had every reason not to be truthful, then it's quite obvious Ann Miller is not guilty of this offense," said Joe Cheshire, defense attorney.
To make bond, Miller Kontz would need to either come up with $3 million worth of property or pay a bail bonds company at least $450,000.
The entire bond hearing will be replayed at 9 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday on the
on digital cable channel 256 or over the air on digital cable channel 5.2.
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