MILLERSBURG -- After the victim of a December assault recanted significant details of the event, her boyfriend on Thursday, March 16, pleaded guilty to reduced and limited charges.
Kyle Miller, 24, of 11976 Dover Road, Apple Creek, pleaded guilty in Holmes County Common Pleas Court to a reduced charge of domestic violence and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. In exchange for his guilty plea, the state agreed to dismiss a related charge of felonious assault and reduced the domestic violence charge, enhanced because she was pregnant at the time, from a fifth-degree felony to a first-degree misdemeanor.
While Miller had initially faced up to eight years in prison, he now faces up to one year in jail for the charges to which he pleaded guilty. Sentencing is scheduled for May 4.
The state agreed to the deal after the victim not only recanted part of her initial statement, but actually told the prosecutor's office the stab wound was not caused by Miller, but was self-inflicted, according to Holmes County Assistant Prosecutor F. Christopher Oehl.
Subsequent to her more recent statements about the incident, including the fact she caused her own injuries, the woman, Samantha G. Lyons, 24, of 618 S. Washington St., Millersburg, was charged in Holmes County Municipal Court with a single count of falsification. The charge, a first-degree misdemeanor, is punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
"We don't always pursue falsification charges," said Holmes County Prosecutor Sean Warner of the situation involving Lyons, explaining, "When she changes the operative fact that was the underlying element of the felonious assault, it warrants a (falsification) charge.
"She clearly caused the injury to herself if we are to believe her," said Warner, continuing, "There is a single wound, and, she, in essence, framed Mr. Miller, as to that (felonious assault) charge. This is not an exaggeration (of the facts). It's changing the operative fact of a crime."
The statements from Lyons, who did not seek treatment for the injury to her ear, "are the exact opposite (to each other)," said Warner, adding also the allegation of drug use "affects the credibility of both parties."
The charges against Miller stem from a Dec. 10 incident.
That's when Lyons initially told police that days worth of fighting culminated in an argument, which continued after she threw his clothes outside, according to Patrolman Jeff Lay of the Millersburg Police Department.
She told officers, Miller then took a knife out of his pocket and stabbed her in the area of the left ear before getting into her car and leaving the residence, said Lay, noting the vehicle was later found abandoned along the side of Massillon Road.
Miller was located in the emergency room of Pomerene Hospital, where he sought treatment for an alleged head injury, said Lay.
Miller, who previously violated bond by testing positive for drugs, was again released on his own recognizance. He was, however, warned by Judge Robert Rinfret, "Between now and May 4, if you do something stupid, you'll do every day of the year -- 360 days -- in jail.
"You've got to stop, son. You can't keep doing this stuff," Rinfret said.
Reporter Christine Pratt can be reached at 330-674-5676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.