Woman threatened with jail if she fails to testify second time
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ A woman jailed for almost a week because she wouldn’t testify against a man accused of robbing her faces two years in prison if she doesn’t show up for another defendant’s trial.
``This is crazy,″ Rebecca Miller said tearfully Tuesday just before getting out of jail.
``I don’t understand how they can put a victim in jail. It was MY stuff they stole.″
Jason L. McGhee, 22, and Chadwick Mullins, 19, allegedly robbed Miller while she was walking home on Jan. 30.
Miller balked at testifying against Mullins, three times failing to show up for trial dates and a deposition.
Miller, 36, said she didn’t show up at Mullins’ last trial date, on Nov. 6, because police warned her that one of the suspects ``beat women to an inch of their life to keep them from testifying.″
Prosecutors dismissed the charges against Mullins and Miller was jailed the day before Thanksgiving for contempt of court.
``Once a case is filed, the prosecutor’s office has a duty to pursue the charges,″ said Sheila Carlisle, chief trial deputy for the prosecutor’s office.
``There are times when victims might not want to pursue a case. That’s not a choice they have.″
Miller appeared in court Tuesday and apologized.
``Well, apology doesn’t pay for it,″ Judge Nancy Broyles responded. ``I had all kinds of people set aside their day″ for the trial.
Broyles ordered Miller to appear at McGhee’s trial on Jan. 22 and told her she would be arrested again if she didn’t keep in touch with prosecutors.
``The first time she (Carlisle) tells me that you haven’t done it, I have to have you picked up,″ the judge said. ``I’m going to see that you do two years. Do you understand that? I’m not joking. It’s expensive. It’s a waste of everybody’s time.″
Miller promised to appear but doesn’t like it.
``I just want people to know it’s not right,″ she said. ``A victim shouldn’t have to go through this.″