A preliminary hearing in the case of a 16-year-old accused of first-degree murder was recessed until next week to await an autopsy report on the 16-year-old victim.
Bryce Allen Miller, 16, of McAlester, was charged as an adult with murder in the first degree — deliberate intent, for the June shooting death of 16-year-old Jaylen Nelson, according to charges filed by the District 18 District Attorney’s Office.
District 18 First Assistant District Attorney Adam Scharn told Pittsburg County Special District Judge Brian McLaughlin that the medical examiner said that the report was “still pending” and that it “should be available next week.”
Scharn and attorneys for Miller — Brecken Wagner and David Smith — agreed to go on with the preliminary hearing without the report from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and to recess the hearing until the report was available.
After both sides examined witnesses, Scharn asked McLaughlin to bind over Miller despite not having the autopsy report. McLaughlin said he would rather wait to see the report before making the decision to bind over Miller for trial.
Wagner then made an objection to the first-degree murder charge — claiming that prosecutors did not meet the burden to prove pre-meditation.
“There is nothing that he showed intent to kill anyone,” said Wagner. “This does not rise to the level of first-degree murder.”
Scharn then quoted a state statute that states that “malice aforethought can be formed instantaneously” and said that 11 gunshots and an admission by Miller is enough to prove the charge is sufficient.
McLaughlin denied the defense’s objection on the charge against Miller. McLaughlin also denied a motion to reduce Miller’s bond after Wagner stated that there was “some collaboration” of self-defense that was not present in the probable cause affidavit. Scharn argued that the current bond of $250,000 was sufficient.
After raising the question of Miller’s right to a speedy trial, McLaughlin recessed the preliminary hearing until 9 a.m. Sept. 12.
Testimony was heard from a girl who was in a relationship with Nelson, a mail carrier who found Nelson’s body, a paramedic who examined Nelson’s body, and two sheriff’s deputies who helped investigate the scene.
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