Mustafrouc Miller is a free man after his trial ended last Friday in a case where he was found not guilty of domestic abuse, not guilty of kidnapping and guilty with a $200 fine for obstructing a police officer.
The alleged victim signed a no-prosecution affidavit at the time of the alleged offense, and did not testify at a preliminary hearing.
During testimony, two police officers testified that when they arrived at the defendant’s motel room, they saw him laying on top of a woman, belly to back, restraining her. Later, after body cam video was shown, one officer changed his story to say it wasn’t belly-to-back, and “you could say that he was laying next to her.”
The alleged victim then told jurors Miller didn’t kidnap her, didn’t hurt her and she was there of her own free will. The couple didn’t answer the door when police knocked, she said, because they were high on methamphetamine.
Prosecutor Larry Edwards then pleaded with the jury to still find Miller guilty on domestic assault and battery and kidnapping and send him to prison for at least a year, even though it seems to be a minor case. The jury, however, found him innocent on those charges.
“If the case is so minor, why are you trying to convict this guy with no criminal history of a felony?” defense attorney Matt Price asked. The cost of a criminal trial can be exorbitant, with subpoenas, prosecutor time, paying 24 people to be in the potential jury pool, paying the defense attorney with OIDS funds, paying a court reporter for a preliminary hearing and a two-day trial, and other miscellaneous costs. In the end, Miller ended up with a $200 fine, while costs for the case, according to ODCR, were $1,352.25, not including most of the costs listed above.