GALLIPOLIS — A Bidwell man was arraigned in the Gallipolis Municipal Court Tuesday on charges of homicide and evasion for reportedly shooting his estranged wife and fleeing police Sunday evening.
Charles Miller, 39, of Bidwell, had bond set in the court at $1 million with a 10 percent surety. Gallipolis Municpal Judge Margaret Evans presided over the proceeding.
According to complaint records, deputies were dispatched to the Porter Road area in Gallia County Sunday evening after receiving a report that a man named Charlie had a gun and and was going to shoot the caller’s friend “Sarah.” Law enforcement arrived at 971 Porter Road and located the victim, Sarah Miller, 46, dead with a gunshot wound to her head in the residence yard. Charles was nowhere to be found.
Witnesses reported Charles fled the scene after the shooting in a green Chevrolet Cavalier.
The Gallia County 911 Center received phone calls from two individuals reporting Charles told them he had shot or killed his wife.
Charles was eventually taken into custody after a vehicle pursuit and crash. Deputies recovered a loaded .22 caliber handgun at the scene of the crash. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation interviewed Charles Monday and he reportedly said he was in possession of such a single-action handgun when he contacted Sarah on Sunday evening. Charles reportedly admitted to cocking the gun before shooting Sarah during the middle of an argument. Reports also say that Charles admitted to telling the victim he was going to shoot her before doing so.
Complaints further report that Charles vehicle was discovered in the area of State Route 160 and Swango Road in Springfield Township before the pursuit began. A deputy in full uniform with a marked vehicle and lights on, pulled in front of Charles’ vehicle on State Route 160. The deputy exited his vehicle and ordered Charles to do the same. Charles accelerated and swerved around the sheriff’s officer cruiser and led deputies and Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers on a chase through Springfield and Addison Townships.
Vehicle speeds topped around 95 mph. Traffic was considered moderate to high on State Route 160, Porter Road and State Route 554 and light to moderate on Bulaville Pike, Greentree Road and Oil Hollow Road. Charles eventually crashed on Oil Hollow Road. Deputies recovered a handgun from his car before taking him into custody.
Charles is currently being housed in the Gallia County Jail. He is anticipated to have another court hearing Oct. 5 at 9 a.m.
If convicted in Gallia Common Pleas Court, Charles could face 15 years to life and up to a $15,000 fine. The fleeing charge is a felony of the third-degree and if convicted, Charles could face nine, 12, 18, 24, 30 or 36 months in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Homicide is considered a special category felony in Ohio.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.