Man sentenced to 20-year prison term for stabbing VB police officer

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A 21-year-old man has been sentenced to 37 years in prison with 17 suspended

Riley Miller was sentenced Tuesday in Virginia Beach Circuit Court.

Miller was convicted by a judge in September on the charges, which include attempted second-degree murder, malicious wounding, robbery, use of a firearm, conspiracy, and possession of schedule I/II drug.

The convictions were lesser charges than those Miller originally faced, which were attempted capital murder of a law enforcement officer and malicious wounding of a police officer.

Miller was arrested Dec. 13, 2017. Officers had responded to a call about an armed robbery around 2:30 a.m., and realized the suspect in the armed robbery call was similar to the person in a domestic call in the same neighborhood.

According to the Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, Miller had given a gun to another juvenile, Jonathan Todora, to use in a robbery.

Todora messaged back and forth with the victim, a female college student, and set up a deal to sell Xanax to her. The student picked up picked up Todora in her vehicle, and then Todora robbed her at gunpoint in a parking lot. He hit her in the face with the gun several times, took $300, and fled.

The student ran to Wawa and reported she had been robbed.

At the same time, dispatchers alert them that a person matching the description of the robbery suspect was arguing with his stepfather and had a knife.

Miller, who was 17 at the time, had threatened his stepfather with a knife, police said. The stepfather told him he needed to leave, and that’s when Miller pulled out a knife from his drawer in his bedroom.

Two officers arrived outside Miller’s house on Victory Road. A struggle ensued, and Officer Adrian Rodriguez was stabbed in the upper leg.

Another officer applied a tourniquet, loaded Rodriguez into a police SUV, and met an ambulance while on the way to the hospital. Prosecutors said that likely saved the officer’s life.

Police apprehended Todora in a home’s backyard nearby. A search of Miller’s phone showed he gave Todora the gun to complete the robbery and that they planned to split the proceeds. Miller had a class jar containing Clonazolam, a schedule I drug, in his backpack.

Following Miller’s arrest, the officers testified that Miller shouted “I hope the officer dies. I hope I [expletive] killed him.”

A defense attorney for Miller argued those statements were made under the influence of Clonazolam, a liquid similar to Xanax. Givando said the drug made Miller incapable of rational thinking and aggressive.

Miller’s stepfather testified in court that his stepson had just returned from drug addiction treatment in Staunton, Virginia. He said he noticed Miller was agitated and acting strangely.

Miller also pleaded guilty in September during a different hearing to four felonies connected to that robbery earlier that night. Those charges include armed robbery, conspiracy, drug and gun charges.

Todora pleaded guilty to robbery and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He was sentenced to 10 years with seven years and five months suspended. That left an active term of two years and five months to serve.

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