Trial begins for Virginia Beach man accused of trying to murder police officer

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Riley Miller has put his fate in the hands of a single person. Miller, 20, opted for a bench trial after he was indicted on charges of attempted capital murder of a police officer and malicious wounding of an officer.

Judge A. Bonwill Shockley began hearing testimony Monday morning in Miller’s case, which dates back to 2017 and began as an armed robbery, but ended with a bloody struggle with patrol officers outside Miller’s home on Victory Road.

Police were already responding to the armed robbery call around 2:30 a.m. Dec. 13, 2017 when they realized the suspect was similar to a domestic call in the same neighborhood. A 17-year-old boy was threatening his stepfather with a knife.

Virginia Beach Police officers Michael Zieger and Adrian Rodriguez arrived in separate marked police cars and in uniform. The domestic complaint said that Miller had a knife. Police say a struggle ensued and Rodriguez was stabbed in the upper leg.

The officers testified that Miller shouted “I hope the officer dies. I hope I (expletive) killed him.”

heir testimony was corroborated by a 25-minute interrogation video five hours after his arrest, shown in court, in which Miller made similar comments.

Defense attorney Steve Givando says those statements at the scene — and repeated hours later to detectives and hospital workers — were made under the influence of Clonazolam. It’s a liquid similar to Xanax. In the video, Miller’s speech is slow and slurred throughout. Givando says the drug made Miller incapable of rational thinking and very aggressive.

In the video, Miller admitted to stabbing Rodriguez and recognized the bloody knife when shown a police evidence picture of it. When the interrogating officer asked him if he felt bad about what happened, Miller laughed and said “(Expletive) no.”

Prior to the trial, Miller pleaded guilty to four felony charges connected to the robbery, including armed robbery, conspiracy, a gun charge and drug possession, in a drug deal that went wrong.

Miller’s trial on the attempted murder and malicious wounding charges continues Tuesday morning, when his attorney is expected to call Miller’s stepfather and an expert on the effects of Clonazolam. Miller told authorities he obtained the green liquid, illegal in the United States, from the dark web.

Stay with WAVY.com for updates.


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