Sharee Miller

Genesee County, Michigan
Date of Crime:  November 9, 1999

While married to a different man, Sharee Paulette Miller had an online romance with an ex-police detective, Jerry Cassaday, from Reno, Nevada, whom she met on the Internet.  Sharee had told him numerous lies such as being wealthy.  She had also traveled to Reno five times and had a physical affair.  In her emails, she said she was married to a terminally ill husband, Jeff, who would die soon and that afterwards they could be together.  Then she told him her husband died, but she had to marry his brother, Bruce, because of family pressure.  She twice told Jerry she was pregnant with his child.

Regarding the first pregnancy, she told Jerry she lost the child because her husband had violently raped her.  Regarding the second pregnancy she said her husband had beaten her until she miscarried.  She even used cosmetic make-up to fake a picture of herself, showing herself all bruised up.  She also sent some emails allegedly from her husband to Jerry saying that he found out about the pregnancy and killed Jerry's “bastard” child.  Sharee had also told Jerry that her husband was in the Mafia.  Jerry had trouble with drugs and alcohol and moved from Reno, Nevada to his hometown of Odessa, Missouri.

Sharee's husband, Bruce Miller, 48, worked third shift at an auto plant in Flint.  He also owned a junkyard, B & D Auto Parts, where he worked when he was not working at the plant.  One night while Bruce was alone at the junkyard, someone showed up and murdered him.  Police thought Bruce was the victim of a robbery as money he had on him was missing.  In her online romance with Jerry, Sharee still was not willing to join Jerry, even though she was free of her husband.  In apparent despair, Jerry, then 39, committed suicide three months after the murder.  He left a suicide note and an alleged transcript of instant messages between himself and Sharee that implicated Sharee in Bruce's murder.  Jerry said he had murdered Bruce with Sharee's help.

Despite her infidelity, Sharee was reportedly happy in her marriage to Bruce.  He was her third husband and provided stability that she had not had before.  She also had no known motive to kill him.  She did not even have a small life insurance policy on him.  Police found email correspondence on Jerry's computer between Sharee and Jerry.  There was nothing in these emails that directly implicated Sharee in the murder.  They somewhat supported Sharee's claim that she was trying to scare Jerry, so he would not call her house so much.

Sharee was tried for the murder of her husband.  Jerry's suicide note and his transcript of instant messages, which showed Sharee participating in the planning the murder, were introduced as evidence.  The transcripts could easily have been faked.  Because he had been jilted, Jerry had motive to falsely implicate Sharee in the murder.  There was little reason to regard Jerry's evidence as reliable or trustworthy.  Being dead, Jerry could not be cross-examined.  Jerry was also an ex-police detective who likely was more adept than an average person in deciding how to frame an innocent person.

The prosecution presented no physical evidence showing that Jerry had committed the murder with or without Sharee's help. There existed some evidence that a business associate of Bruce committed the murder.  Sharee was not allowed at trial to introduce results of a polygraph test taken of the associate which indicated he was “deceptive” in denying his involvement in Bruce's murder.

Sharee was convicted.  Her infidelity and the lies she told Jerry would not win her much sympathy.  Nevertheless, since the evidence used to convict her is inherently unreliable, Sharee's conviction is also inherently unreliable.  In 2008, a federal judge overturned her conviction on the grounds that Jerry's suicide note should not have been allowed into evidence.  However, the judge rejected Sharee's complaint that the alleged instant messages should not have been allowed into evidence.  Sharee was scheduled for retrial in Oct. 2009, but as of Mar. 2010 it appears not to have taken place as it is not mentioned in any news report.

Sharee's case was featured on television episodes of A&E's American Justice, NBC's Dateline, CBS's Inside Edition, Investigation Discovery's Deadly Women and on the Oxygen Channel's Snapped.  The case was the subject of a 2003 pro-prosecution book, Fatal Error, by Kansas City Star reporter Mark Morris and Flint Journal reporter Paul Janczewski.  Also a television movie produced by Lifetime Television called Fatal Desire was based on the case.    [9/07]

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Reference:  Miller v. Stovall

Posted in:  Victims of the State, Michigan Cases, Husband Murder Cases, Hearsay Testimony