East Lansing serial killer Don Miller has a parole interview this week

EAST LANSING – East Lansing serial killer Don Miller is due to be interviewed by a member of the state’s parole board this week. This is his ninth chance of parole.

State officials last denied Miller, 66, a prisoner in the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility in Jackson, on parole in 2016. If he serves his full sentence, Miller will be released in 2031.

In July 1979, Miller admitted to killing four women in East Lansing between January 1, 1977 and August 14, 1978.

The first, Martha Sue Young, was engaged to marry Miller but ended their relationship shortly before she disappeared.

He killed three other people – Marita Choquette, a 27-year-old editorial assistant at WKAR-TV, 21-year-old Wendy Bush, and 30-year-old Kristine Stuart in the 18 months following Young’s disappearance.

Miller also raped 14-year-old Lisa Gilbert and tried to kill her and her 13-year-old brother Randy at her family’s home in Delta Township.

Officials are calling for parole to be denied

A lawsuit against Miller, in Ingham County, on the second degree murder of two of his victims – Stuart and Young – never made it to court.

Miller pleaded guilty to two homicides in return for leading the police to the bodies of Young and Stuart. He was sentenced to 10 to 15 years in prison. He later revealed details about the deaths of Choquette and Bush.

Miller was charged with rape and attempted murder in Eaton County for assaulting the Gilbert children. He was convicted of these charges in May 1979 and sentenced to 30 to 50 years in prison.

Don Miller in 2014

In 1994, prison officials found a Garrote, a strangling device made from a lace and running buttons, in Miller’s cell at the Kinross Correctional Facility in Chippewa County. A jury convicted him of possession of a gun in prison and extended Miller’s sentence for another 20 to 40 years.

State Police have confirmed that they are currently investigating claims by a woman from central Michigan that Miller attacked and assaulted her in August 1978.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, Ingham County Attorney Carol Siemon, and Eaton County Attorney Doug Lloyd have submitted letters to the state parole board asking them to deny Miller’s early release.

Lloyd quoted the last time Miller received sexual counseling in 1993.

“At the time, counselors found Miller’s coping mechanisms unrealistic and he was excluded from treatment because he could not get any further benefit,” he said in his letter. “As a result, Miller has made no improvement in how he will cope with his ingrained desires to commit sexual assault crimes since his last denial.”


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Next Steps

Miller’s interview is expected to take place sometime this week, Michigan Justice Department spokesman Chris Gautz said late last month.

Miller is interviewed by video by a member of a three-person parole committee, said department spokeswoman Brianna Brugel.

That member will then share the interview with the rest of the panel along with letters from victims, officials, and others regarding Miller’s parole.

Brugel declined to say how many letters the parole board had received regarding Miller, citing confidentiality.

Decisions are usually made within 30 days of a probation interview, she said. A majority decision by the committee will determine the result, said Brugel.

If parole is granted, the conditions would be set by the parole board, she said.

“The probation authority determines how this person should be monitored with public safety, always having top priority,” said Brugel

Contact Rachel Greco at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @GrecoatLSJ.

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