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Man charged with shooting wife declares he didn't do it


By Beth Velliquette
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

A man charged with shooting his wife at her workplace Tuesday morning denied he did it during his first appearance in Pitt County District Court.

Calvin Lee Miller, 55, of 2359 Sheppard Mill Road, Greenville, appeared this morning before District Court Judge Wendy Hazelton in the courtroom at the Pitt County Detention Center. He was wearing a padded anti-suicide smock and was heavily chained with with handcuffs and ankle cuffs.

He is charged with the attempted first-degree murder of Charlene Miller at JP Davenport & Son Store on U.S. 264 in Pactolus. He also is charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Assistant District Attorney Marisa Price told Hazelton that trouble began prior to Monday when Mr. Miller pointed a gun at his pregnant daughter and shot at the family dog.

Charlene Miller sought a domestic violence protection order on Monday but it had not been served on him by Tuesday morning, Price said. When his wife arrived at work about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Davenport location, which is also the headquarters for Davenport Farms, he was waiting for her, Price said.

“”He shot her numerous times from about 40 feet away,” Price said. “The victim was able to call emergency personnel and identify him.”

It was pure luck that the victim survived, and if she hadn’t he would be charged with first-degree murder, Price said.

She asked Hazelton to set his bond at $2 million.

Miller, who was sitting on a bench at behind the defense table, said the charges were false.

“They’re all false statements,” he said. “I don’t own a gun.”

Miller said he was supposed to be at a counseling center for his cancer.

Law enforcement authorities located Miller on foot about 1:40 p.m. Tuesday near the intersection of N.C. 30 and U.S. 264, which is about a mile east of the store. He appeared to be intoxicated.

“I can’t get out and walk up and down the road like that,” Miller told the judge.

In the application for the domestic violence protection order, Charlene Miller said that her husband had cancer and was suicidal. She also said that she had received a video from her daughter that showed her husband saying that he would kill his wife. She also said he lived in a camper behind her residence that that he had one or two guns.

Hazelton set the bond at $2 million. 

She also told him that he is to have absolutely no contact with his wife or daughter, not by phone, by text, letter or any other means of communication and not possess a firearm and to stay away from alcohol and any other impairing substance.

“If you violate the order you’re the one that gets in trouble,” she said.

If he violates the no contact order, she said she will increase his bond to $3 million.

The mug shot that the sheriff’s office released of Miller is from an earlier time, and he had quite a different appearance in court. He had dark black hair with a mustache and goatee.

On Tuesday, Pactolus Elementary School, which is across U.S. 264 from the store, was placed on modified lockdown during the search for Miller.

Contact Beth Velliquette at bvelliquette@reflector.com or at 252-329-9566.