Man gets 49 months after using pepper spray in theft

Posted: February 1, 2014

The Winchester Star

Daniel Wesley Miller

WINCHESTER — A Frederick County man has been found guilty of pepper-spraying a man in the eyes and robbing him, along with two other crimes.

Daniel Wesley Miller, 20, of the 400 block of South Hayfield Road was sentenced on Friday to four years and one month in prison on one charge of robbery as part of a plea agreement in Frederick County Circuit Court.

The agreement also calls for Miller to be sentenced to two years in prison, with all time suspended, on two grand larceny charges stemming from unrelated crimes.

He must also serve two years of supervised probation and two years of unsupervised probation.

Judge Clifford “Clay” Athey approved the agreement among Miller, his attorney Mark Vann, and county Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Nick Manthos.

According to a search warrant filed in the case, a county deputy found the victim crawling in the 600 block of Rest Church Road — north of Winchester near the West Virginia line — on March 25.

The victim said he was robbed by three white men — two of whom are Miller’s codefendants in the case — and that he knew one of them.

He said he had been contacted earlier in the day and asked by the man he knew to provide marijuana for sale.

He said he was later picked up by the three men at the KFC restaurant at 885 Fox Drive off North Frederick Pike (U.S. 522), and driven to a church off Apple Pie Ridge Road.

The warrant states that he was then struck in the eyes by what he thought was pepper spray, and that the man in the front passenger seat of the vehicle took his belongings.

Items reported stolen — which Manthos confirmed in his proffer of evidence on Friday — were the victim’s gold watch, valued at $360, according to a criminal complaint filed in the case, a bracelet, $250 in cash and a small amount of marijuana.

According to the complaint, the victim asked to be released from the vehicle, but was denied.

The complaint also states that the victim identified Miller in a lineup as the man who pepper-sprayed him and that Miller also told him to “give him everything” or he would “get his gun from the car.”

Miller’s two grand-larceny charges involved the thefts of a safe and a firearm from two residences in Frederick County on two days in March.

— Contact Melissa Boughton at mboughton @winchesterstar.com