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Judge accepts former teacher's plea

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

(Photo)
Anita Miller
Although scheduled for jury trial proceedings, a former North Clay Middle School Physical Education teacher entered into a negotiated plea agreement during court proceedings early Monday morning.

According to documentation provided by Clay Superior Court, Anita M. Miller, 44, with the assistance of her attorney Darrell E. Felling, negotiated a plea agreement/sentencing recommendation with the Clay County Prosecutor's Office.

On Jan. 13, 2008, Miller and Melinda Ellis, a former White River Valley Junior/Senior High School first-year science teacher were arrested after an altercation with deputies investigating an accident report.

Ellis was charged with possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia, operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content over 0.08 (all class A misdemeanors) and class C misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated, endangering a person. Ellis resigned from WRV and pled guilty to operating a vehicle while intoxicated and possession of paraphernalia.

Miller was originally charged with class B misdemeanor public intoxication and class C misdemeanor public nudity.

However, she was not prosecuted for those charges. Miller agreed to plead guilty only to an amended class B misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct. Miller also waived her right to a public and speedy trial by jury and will make factual testimony of her guilt as negotiated.

Per terms of the negotiated plea agreement, Clay County Superior Court Judge Blaine Akers sentenced Miller to 180 days incarceration at the Clay County Justice Center, with all suspended with the exception of four days of previous time served. She would be placed on formal probation for 176 days and ordered to perform 24 hours of community service.

Ordered to obey all laws, Miller will pay court costs, fines and probation fees, report to probation officer as required and submit to alcohol counseling with the court's substance abuse counselor. She is prohibited from possessing and/or consuming alcohol and will be subject to random controlled substance screens and searches of her person, vehicle or residence without notice.

After holding several inquiries about the matter, the Clay Community School Board released Miller from her teaching contract on March 5, 2008.

On April 3, 2008, Miller filed a judicial review in Clay Circuit Court.

The judicial review process was not to determine Miller's guilt of criminal activity or evaluate the validity of evidence, it was only to review and justify the procedures used to terminate her teaching contract per state statue and determine if the reason/incident for her dismissal offended "the morals of the community" and is a "bad example to the youth whose ideals a teacher is supposed to foster and to elevate."

Judge Joseph Trout's subsequent reply upheld the school board's termination process in March, thus ending the civil case when no appeal was filed on behalf of Miller within 30 days of the filed judicial review (on April 15).


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Anita has led a drug infested life for years now. Those who know her real well are already aware of this, and this arrest came as no surprise. She was a talented athlete, teacher and coach. I hope she gets help soon.

-- Posted by tenspeed1984 on Wed, Sep 30, 2009, at 8:05 AM