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Mom, sister plead not guilty to alleged hit plot

Ann Miller, 59, Daniel Miller’s sister, and Mary

Ann Miller, 59, Daniel Miller’s sister, and Mary Miller, 80, his mother. (July 17, 2012) Credit: Howard Schnapp

An 80-year-old Inwood woman and her daughter entered not guilty pleas Thursday to charges that they conspired to help a family member hire a hit man to kill a witness against him in a criminal case.

Mary Miller leaned on a walker as she entered the plea in First District Court in Hempstead. Her daughter, Ann Miller, 59, also of Inwood, entered her plea from her wheelchair. Both were released on their own recognizance.

They are accused of helping Daniel Miller, son of Mary and brother of Ann, get information against a 17-year-old male he is accused of sexually assaulting in January at the Santeria store Daniel Miller owns in Inwood.

Police said that Daniel Miller, 45, approached the teen on his first day of employment and gave him a drink containing Lorazepam, an anti-anxiety drug that slows brain activity and can cause drowsiness and dizziness.

Assistant District Attorney Anne Donnelly filed documents in court Thursday outlining how the two women had gotten information about the teen's disciplinary record from his Cedarhurst school, where Miller's mother was a secretary.

The documents said Mary Miller had a computer logon and password that allowed her to access the disciplinary records at Lawrence High School from any computer or device that connected to the Internet.

Prosecutors said before Judge Colin O'Donnell that Daniel Miller, being held on sexual abuse charges, asked a would-be hit man during a visit at the Nassau County Jail on June 4 to arrange to have the teen killed.

That same day, police recorded Miller on the phone with his sister, telling her that she should give the information she had collected to the man he was sending to see her, prosecutors said. The man, who was not identified, contacted the police, prosecutors said.

Mary Miller may not have known that her son intended to have the teen killed, prosecutors said, but she planned to give the records to a private investigator who was gathering information on the teen to help in her son's criminal case.

Ann Miller gave the information to another person with the thought that it could be used to deter the youth from testifying, or to discredit him, prosecutors said. The nature of the information was not revealed.

The women's defense attorneys -- Brian Griffin of Garden City and Edward Mandery of Mineola -- said outside court that even if the women passed information to others, that was not a crime.

Daniel Miller pleaded not guilty last month and is being held on $5 million bond or $2.5 million cash.

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