Tustin High School Killer Wants Punishment Reduction

Categories: Court, Crime-iny

millergun.jpg
A 16-year-old Tustin High School student convicted in 1996 for a special circumstances murder of a 14-year-old boy wants a new hearing to reconsider his punishment.

That's not surprising.

Thomas Donald Miller has a net worth of 12 cents (if you exclude $10,000 in court-ordered restitution he still owes) and is living in California's most notorious maximum security facility: Pelican Bay State Prison.

As of now, Miller, who is 34 years old, will never leave prison alive.

An Orange County Superior Court judge gave a life sentence without the possibility for parole in 1997.

Late last month, Miller filed a federal petition seeking to overturn his punishment. He claims relatively recent court decisions should retroactively grant him a right to parole because of his youthful age at the time he committed first-degree murder with a handgun he fired into the head of the other teenager.

It took less than two weeks inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana for U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna to settle the case.

In a three-page ruling, Selna noted that Miller's claims have previously been rejected as weak and also noted that his complaints about his 17-year-old conviction are now time-barred for consideration.

Following the fatal shooting, the Orange County District Attorney's office decided to prosecute Miller, once a popular Little League baseball player, as an adult.

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Email: rscottmoxley@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @RScottMoxley.


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10 comments
vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

16 year olds do stupid stuff. Not saying he should be out of jail (probably think he should be executed) but calling him a loser for shooting someone in the head is a bit uncalled for. Do you know why he did it? Was it over a girl? An insult? 

spencerj05
spencerj05

@vegandawg23 Your post implies there's a NON-stupid reason to shoot someone in the head (barring self defense which this was NOT).

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

@spencerj05 @vegandawg23 Not in the least. Agree stupid to shoot anyone and ruin your life and many others over stupid stuff. Just wondering is all. I'm interested in the subject of violence. What possesses people to take it to that level, etc. Not to say that some are more or less deserving of being shot (more deserving to be shot say after you rape a girl than someone wanting your nike air jordans you agree?) but shooting someone is a stupid thing to do in either situation.

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

@mrwilliamward Did Carl steal the DJ equipment? Not saying that warrants being shot. Just wondering the details is all. 

walling246
walling246

Carl was my neighbor. He was a nice, completely innocent kid, some might have even called him a "nerd." These wannabe gangsters were using him for his equipment. He most definitely did not steal the gear. I remember how excited he was when his grandparents bought it for him. I find your question annoying.

walling246
walling246

Carl was my neighbor. He was a nice, completely innocent kid, some might have even called him a "nerd." These wannabe gangsters were using him for his equipment. He most definitely did not steal the gear. I remember how excited he was when his grandparents bought it for him. I find your question annoying.

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

@mrwilliamward NM found the LA times story from when it happened. Guess they were into the whole "gangster" thing and took it for reality. Didn't know white people around here were into "tagging". Never seen any that was legible. Assumed it was all espanyolo. Sad story. 

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