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Gag order issued in Miller capital murder case

Posted: January 2, 2014 4:06 p.m.
Updated: January 3, 2014 5:00 a.m.
C-I file photo/

Nickolas Jermaine Miller

An order of suppression, commonly called a “gag order” was issued in the capital murder case of Nickolas Jermaine Miller, 25, of Jefferson. The Chronicle-Independent recently learned of the order, which was actually filed several months ago.

More than two years after allegedly kidnapping, raping and murdering a Chesterfield County woman, Miller remains in the Kershaw County Detention Center awaiting trial. Truc Tran, law clerk for Judge D. Craig Brown, said the trial is tentatively scheduled for sometime in September.

The gag order prohibits anyone connected to the case from sharing information with the media that is not already public record. The order includes police, solicitors, defense attorneys, court officials and witnesses, Tran said. The motion to create the order was brought by Miller’s defense counsel and it was signed by Brown on August 30.

Miller is accused of abducting Beverly Hope Melton, 30, of Kershaw, on Dec. 26, 2011, in Chesterfield County, sexually assaulting her there, then bringing her into Kershaw County for more acts of rape before beating her to death with a baseball bat. Fifth District Solicitor Dan Johnson has previously said he will seek the death penalty against Miller, stating Melton’s death occurred while other felonies, the abduction and sexual assaults were also being committed.

Miller and Melton first crossed paths at Jack’s Convenience Store in Jefferson, where video surveillance showed Miller harassing his victim. Chesterfield County authorities said the tape showed a clear view of Miller and his vehicle at the store. Melton called her grandmother soon after leaving the store and said she was being followed. She was not heard from again.

Melton’s car was found in a ditch on Angelus Road a few miles from Jefferson with the engine running and in reverse gear.

After identifying Miller from convenience store surveillance, former Chesterfield County Sheriff Sam Parker and deputies met with Miller at Jefferson Town Hall, where he reportedly confessed to the crimes and agreed to take the officers to Melton’s body in a secluded area behind two turkey barns off Sandy Grove Road. Parker, Chesterfield County deputies and a S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) helicopter found Melton’s body.

At the time, Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews said the murder was “a horribly brutal and senseless crime, one of the worst I’ve ever seen.”

Parker agreed.

“It was very brutal. In my 37-year career this is one of the worst I’ve seen,” he said at the time of Miller’s arrest.

Melton was employed at T&T Country Stop in McBee and Parker said she was well known to his deputies.

“Most of my deputies, from myself on down have been in her store and she was always very sweet,” he said then. “It’s one of those things you just can’t explain why and never will be able to.”

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