Judge orders teen to trial in slaying
BY BILL BRAUN World Staff Writer
Thursday, October 30, 2003
8/28/08 at 6:04 AM
A co-defendant testified Wednesday that
she drove Darrel Ray Miller from the
scene of two Tulsa robberies and shootings, one of which proved fatal.
Testifying as a prosecution witness at a
preliminary hearing, Heather Gale Sanders
said the 17-year-old Miller also told her
about two other robberies during which
he shot store clerks.
Regarding a robbery at a Stop & Save
store at 5950 S. 33rd West Ave., Miller
said he shot a clerk because the man
"looked like he was reaching for a weapon," according to Sanders, also 17.
But a police officer said that when he
questioned Miller about the Stop & Save
robbery, Miller maintained that the gun
"accidentally went off."
The clerk, Milton Islam, survived the
Miller also said "the gun accidentally
went off when he was leaving" a robbery
at a Git-n-Go store at 4826 E. 33rd St.,
where assistant store manager Stanley
Paul Silkey was killed, Detective Bob
Tulsa County Special Judge Millie
Otey ordered Miller held for trial on
seven felonies -- one count of first-degree murder and three counts each
of robbery with a firearm and shooting
with an intent to kill.
Miller faced six counts when the
hearing started, but Otey added another shooting count, linked to testimony
from an employee of a Priscilla's store
who said she was shot in the neck by a
masked gunman June 11.
Sanders has been charged jointly
with Miller with the Aug. 6 murder of
Silkey and the July 30 holdup at the
Stop & Save.
She acknowledged Wednesday that
she has been offered a deal by prosecutors, calling for the murder count to be
reduced to an accessory charge.
Attorney Bruce Edge, representing
Sanders, anticipated that she eventually
will plead guilty and get a 10-year sentence as a "youthful offender."
Sanders is expected to appear before
a judge next week to waive her right to
a preliminary hearing. Edge said she is
a "prime candidate" for youthful offender status but that he thinks a psychological evaluation is necessary to assess
whether she qualifies for that classification.
Miller, whose first name is also
spelled "Darrell" on some records --
and Sanders were arrested Sept. 3.
Miller previously lived in Tulsa, but
charges filed in September listed both
defendants with the same address in
Sanders testified that she was dating
Miller. Sanders "is young and naive,
and I think she just got caught up in
some bad choices," Edge said.
Under the youthful offender scenario,
Sanders would be placed under the supervision of the Office of Juvenile Af
fairs, which could not keep her in custody beyond her 20th birthday in December 2005.
If she failed to comply with an OJA
treatment program, she could be
"bridged" into an adult prison but could
face no more than a 10-year term.
Otey ordered Miller to face trial as
an adult on the murder, robbery and
Sanders said she and Miller "talked
about robbing the store" before she entered the Stop & Save first on July 30.
She testified that Miller entered and
announced, "This is a robbery. Give me
She said she left the store and that
Miller emerged later with money. He
got into the car, where she was waiting, she said. Miller told her that he
had shot the clerk in the head, she testified.
Islam said a bandana-wearing gunman
shot him in the head after getting money from the register.
Nothing in his testimony indicated
that Islam made any movement to
reach for any weapon.
Sanders said that on Aug. 6, she let
Miller out of a car near the Git-n-Go
and saw him leave the store five to 10
Miller "said he shot the clerk in the
chest," and he got "like $37," Sanders
Police said Silkey, 30, was shot between the eyes around 1:20 a.m. at that
store after giving the robber $30.
Miller also faces trial for robbery-shootings reported within a two-week
span in June at the Corner Stop, 449 S.
Sheridan Road, and at the Priscilla's
store at 11344 E. 11th St.
Regarding those counts, Miller indicated that he had shot a clerk at a convenience store -- not specified by
name -- who Miller also said "looked
like he was reaching for a weapon,"
Miller also said he shot a woman in
the jaw at the Priscilla's store, she said.
All three wounded employees testified Wednesday, but they were not
asked to identify Miller in court as the
Bill Braun 581-8455