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Woman Gets Prison Term for Shooting

August 24, 2012
By TYLER REYNARD - Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

A judge sentenced Darleen Miller to five to nine years in prison Wednesday for firing four gunshots into a home that was occupied by her former boyfriend and his parents in December.

Miller, 46, of Wheeling pleaded guilty earlier this month in front of Ohio County Circuit Judge James Mazzone to two counts of second-degree attempted murder and one count of wanton endangerment involving a firearm.

James Kope Jr., the son and brother of the victims, asked Mazzone to keep Miller from his family as long as possible by sentencing her to the maximum amount of prison time.

Article Photos

Photo by Tyler Reynard
Darleen Miller sits while chief public defender Shayne Welling speaks during her sentencing hearing in Ohio County Circuit Court on Thursday.

"Back in December, I almost lost my parents, my only brother - my only sibling - to a violent, violent act," Kope related. "(Miller) knowingly and willfully picked up a gun, pointed it and pulled the trigger. No matter what her sentence, the emotional and mental anguish that my family has gone through will continue to go on long after."

Miller's former boyfriend and victim, James Nagy, said despite Miller's actions that day, he remembers the amorous moments of their relationship fondly.

He added, however, that Miller's personality changed drastically from when they began dating and she became selfish and manipulative.

"There's a part of me that still loves Darleen Miller," he admitted. "This Darleen Miller? No. The Darleen Miller that showed me all this compassion and love and care back then? Yes."

Miller's friends and family wrote letters to the court and provided statements Wednesday in support of what chief public defender Shayne Welling called "the tale of two Darleens."

"Darleen on Dec. 23 is not the Darleen that they knew," Welling said. "She was not the Darleen sitting before you today. It was not her. Wherever she was ... I think when the gunshots rang out, it brought her back. She doesn't know who she was that morning."

Both sides acknowledged that Miller's mental state had gradually deteriorated, and she suffered from depression and anxiety.

Welling argued for the one- to three-year sentences to be served concurrently and asked Mazzone to suspend the sentence on the wanton endangerment charge in lieu of treatment in mental health court.

Mazzone ultimately ordered the sentences to run consecutively and ordered Miller, if released on parole during her sentence, to enroll in treatment in mental health court.

Nagy and his parents were at the home he shared with Miller in Woodsdale when she arrived at the residence with a gun Dec. 23.

The relationship had become tumultuous and Nagy and his parents were packing Miller's possessions to move her out of the home.

Nagy refused to let Miller enter the residence and forced her to wait on the porch.

When Nagy came to the door a second time, Miller fired a shot through it. She fired two more rounds before firing a final shot through a window near Nagy's father.

 
 

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