DA: Mom, daughter helped hire hit man
An 80-year-old high school secretary and her daughter surrendered to police Tuesday on charges that they each played a role in a family member's plan to hire a hit man to kill the key witness in a criminal case, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said Mary Miller, of Inwood, used her position as a secretary at Lawrence High School in Cedarhurst to steal the file of the 17-year-old student whom her son, Daniel Miller, planned to have killed. They said Mary Miller may not have known that her son was planning to have the boy killed, but she planned to give the records to a private investigator who was gathering information on the boy to help in her son's criminal case.
She was charged with official misconduct, a misdemeanor, and faces up to a year in jail if convicted, prosecutor Anne Donnelly said.
Prosecutors said Ann Miller, 59, also of Inwood, Mary Miller's daughter and Daniel's sister, was charged with giving the boy's personal information to someone who was supposed to use it to hire a hit man to kill the boy. Donnelly said Ann Miller likely thought the information would be used to intimidate the boy into staying away from court, or to falsely accuse him of a crime to discredit him.
Ann Miller was charged with sixth-degree conspiracy and fourth-degree tampering with a witness, and faces a year in jail if convicted.
Their attorneys deny the charges. Both were released without bail, and are due back in court Aug. 2.
Mary Miller's son, Daniel, 45, the owner of a Santeria religious supply store in Inwood, first asked a relative to stick pins and knives into a voodoo doll of the boy he is charged with sexually abusing in April, prosecutors said. He then offered to pay a would-be hit man $15,000 to kill the teen, prosecutors and police said.
Daniel Miller's lawyer, Joseph Conway of Mineola, has asserted his innocence.
Mary Miller's lawyer, Edward Mandery of Mineola, said his client had no knowledge of any murder plot. "She's an 80-year-old woman who's lived a law-abiding life," he said. "I don't think she intends to start committing crimes now."