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YOKNAPATAWPHA COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT

Investigating Officer(s): Det. T. Armstrong, Det. S. Murphy
Incident No.: 001292-20D-2017
Case Description: Frederick Miller death investigation


INVESTIGATION STATUS REPORT SUMMARY
All detailed reports on file.

April 24, 2017

Witness interviews

Deputy Watson followed up with church choir member, Darla Collins. She said Frederick Miller was always a little prickly, but she had never seen him quite as testy as he was on April 20th.

Darla said Frederick had singled her out because she was singing flat on two notes in a section of a song. She said Frederick made her stand by the piano and sing all alone, while he repeatedly struck the two keys corresponding to the two notes she was missing. She said this went on for nearly ten minutes until she asked to be excused for a moment, at which time Frederick told her she could be excused for eternity for all he cared.

Darla then went to her car, where she listened to an affirmation CD for ten minutes or so, and then she returned to choir practice. She said Frederick did not acknowledge her as she entered the room, and he made no eye contact with her for the remainder of the practice.

Darla said she did not bear a grudge against Frederick for his behavior that night because she knew he just wanted the choir to excel. 

Investigative action:

None needed.

Witness interviews

Investigators canvassed the area surrounding Faith and Glory Community Church to determine whether anyone had seen or heard anything suspicious on the evening of April 20th. No one interviewed noticed anything out of the ordinary.

Bart Bigley owns a home adjacent to the large trash bins on the southwestern side of the church. He said he heard the bang of the trash bin lid closing when he took his dog out around 8:30 p.m. but added that it wasn’t unusual to hear the church people throwing away the trash. Otherwise, the church was a conscientious neighbor.

Investigative action:

None needed.

Alibi checks

Nathaniel Huggins — Officers Richards and Vittel spoke with Pastor Franklin Roberts regarding his interaction with Nathaniel Huggins on April 20, 2017.

Pastor Roberts said he called Nathaniel at the Hugginses' home number at approximately 11:00 p.m. on the 20th to tell him that Frederick Miller had been killed. Pastor Roberts said Nathaniel answered the phone and said the conversation lasted around five minutes. He described Nathaniel's reaction to the news as flabbergasted.

Officers Richards and Vittel also visited Nathaniel Huggins's wife, Laura, at their residence, 2152 Anderson Road. Laura said her husband had returned home promptly after choir practice, arriving about 8:15 p.m.

She remembered because she had made chicken and dumplings for dinner, one of Nathan's all-time favorites, and he hurried in the door just as she finished setting the table. Laura said they were home all evening, and as they were getting ready for bed around 11:00 p.m., Pastor Roberts called and told Nathan about Frederick.

Donna Palmer — Deputy Watson obtained credit card receipts from Donna Palmer for Granny’s Diner, with a timestamp of 7:51 p.m. and for Walgreens Pharmacy, with a timestamp of 8:38 p.m., for the purchase of products to relieve indigestion.

At 7:00 p.m., Deputy Watson went to Granny’s Diner to see if anyone remembered the Palmers being there on the evening of April 20th. Waitress Kat Edwards said she was working that night. She confirmed that the Palmers had eaten there. She said she knew the Palmers because they used to be regulars but hadn’t been in for a couple of months. Ms. Edwards said that they arrived at their usual time, 7:00 p.m., and left around 8:00 p.m.

Deputy Watson also went to the Walgreens to speak with employees there. Night manager Keith Abberton checked the work schedule, but none of the employees working on the 20th were on duty. Deputy Watson reviewed security footage which showed Donna Palmer entering the store at 8:26 p.m. and subsequently making a purchase.

Investigative action:

None needed.

Report filed 4/27/17, 7:30 p.m. by Det. T. Armstrong, 615, and Det. S. Murphy, 633

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