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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

YHS student held in connection with teacher murder

Killing allegedly stemmed from forbidden teen romance

Student held in teacher murder

A Yoknapatawpha High School student is being held in connection with the murder of YHS biology teacher Frederick Miller, the sheriff's department has confirmed.

Mark Huddleston, 17, was escorted from the school around noon today and has been detained at the sheriff's office since that time.

Miller, who was shot with an arrow last Thursday in the parking lot of the Faith and Glory Community Church, had forbidden his daughter to date Huddleston, according to sheriff's spokeswoman Elizabeth Jones.

Authorities believe that may have been the motive behind Huddleston's ambush of Miller, the assistant archery coach at YHS. Huddleston is a well-known member of the YHS archery team, having won first place at the last district competition.

Jones would not specify what led investigators to hold Huddleston today, but she said physical evidence implicating Huddleston was found at the murder scene.

The school community reacts

Last week, YHS archery head coach Travis Lancaster declined to comment on Miller's death. However, after hearing that his best archer was being held on suspicion of murder, he reached out to Crime Beat.

"I really don't think Marc did this. I know that he and Frederick had some issues, but Marc is a good kid," said Lancaster.

Lancaster said the problems between Miller and Huddleston arose when Miller forced his daughter to split with Huddleston.

"But Marc still seemed happy and confident, even after the breakup. Marc doesn't let things get to him. He's a happy and friendly kid. Sure, maybe he's a bit arrogant," Lancaster explained," but he's a popular teenage boy with everything going for him. He's not a murderer. I just really think they have the wrong guy."

Lancaster isn't the only person at YHS that doubts Huddleston's involvement in the murder. Since Miller's death, the school community has been in mourning over the loss of one of their long-time teachers. However, the news of Huddleston's arrest has caused an uproar among some of the students.

"Anyone who believes Marc would do something like this is really stupid," said a female classmate. "Even if Mr. Miller was a total jerk to him, Marc wouldn't do that to [Miller's daughter] and her mom."

But not everyone believes that Marc is innocent. A male student with a bright green mohawk volunteered that he thought that Marc was guilty.

"That kid thinks he's the sh** just 'cause he's good at archery and has rich parents. I bet he killed Mr. Miller just so he could take [Miller's daughter] to prom. I heard him telling some of his jock friends that he was sure they would win prom king and queen if Mr. Miller would just stop being such a d*** about them going."

Formal charges are expected to be filed later this week.

By Kemper Jones at 4:30 PM

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