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Sharee Paulette MILLER





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Woman accused of plotting the murder of her husband over the Internet with her online lover Jerry Cassaday, who would later commit suicide
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: November 8, 1999
Date of arrest: April 2000
Date of birth: October 13, 1971
Victim profile: Her husband, Bruce L. Miller, 48
Method of murder: Shooting (.20 gauge shotgun)
Location: Flint, Genesee County, Michigan, USA
Status: Sentenced to life in prison for the conspiracy to commit murder charge, and 54 to 81 years for second-degree murder on January 29, 2001
photo gallery

State of Michigan
Court of Appeals

People of State of Michigan v. Sharee Paulette Miller

United States court of Appeals
For the Sixth Circuit

Sharee Miller v. Clarice Stovall, Warden

Sharee Paulette Kitley Miller (born October 13, 1971) is an American woman accused of plotting the murder of her husband, Bruce Miller, over the Internet with her online lover Jerry Cassaday, who would later commit suicide.

Miller was convicted for her part of the crime, but her conviction was overturned and she was free on bond while awaiting a new trial. She was living in the Greater Detroit metro area. In 2012, Miller was re-incarcerated.

Murder, trial and incarceration

Bruce Miller was found dead at his junkyard in Flint, Michigan on November 8, 1999, killed by a .20 gauge shotgun.

After Sharee was arrested in February 2000, she was held without bail until her trial. On December 12, 2000, the State of Michigan v. Sharee Miller trial began and her case made national headlines. According to the prosecution, Sharee wanted Bruce dead for his money and that a divorce would not have given her enough.

After two days of deliberation, on December 22 the jury found Sharee Miller guilty on all charges. On Jan. 29, 2001, the Genesee County Circuit Court Judge Judith Fullerton sentenced Miller to life in prison for the conspiracy to commit murder charge, and 54 to 81 years for second-degree murder.

She was serving her term at the Robert Scott Correctional Facility in Plymouth, Michigan and then the Women's Huron Valley Correctional Facility in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Sharee still maintains her innocence and has filed an appeal to the Michigan Court of Appeals. Her mother currently has custody of one of her three children.

Recent events

She credited mental health staff at the prison. In 2007 while in prison she was diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder and other mental illnesses. She also claimed that she wanted to give back to the people she had selfishly taken from.

In August 2008, a federal court judge overturned her conviction and ordered that she receive a new trial. The judge found that the suicide note from Cassaday should have never been admitted into court and seen by the jurors because Cassaday was dead and could not be cross examined.

On July 16, 2009, a federal court judge ordered Sharee Miller's immediate release from prison on bond pending the new trial which was ordered in August 2008. In response, on July 17, 2009, Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton ordered that Miller immediately be re-arrested from prison where she was taken to the Genesee County Jail and held without bond to await new charges.

Sharee Miller was arraigned on July 22, 2009 again on charges of second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit premeditated first-degree murder. The new trial was scheduled to begin on October 20, 2009. Miller's attorneys appealed this action. The retrial was put on hold pending the federal appeal.

On July 29, 2009, Sharee Miller was released from the Genesee County Jail on a $100,000 recognizance bond until her new trial began.

In December 2009, Sharee Miller was found using the popular social networking site Facebook. Miller’s lawyer, David Nickola, said that there was no reason for his client to be barred from using a computer, but Sharee's Facebook page was temporarily deactivated when it attracted publicity. “I don’t think there’s anything inappropriate about it,” Nickola said. He states that Sharee used Facebook to keep in touch with her family members and her son who is overseas in the military. “She’s an innocent person out in society and she’s doing positive things,” Nickola said, “Having a Facebook page to communicate with her son who is serving in the military overseas is nothing inappropriate whatsoever.” While having a Facebook page is not a violation of Miller’s bond, Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said this is a perfect example of why people need to be careful when they’re online. “People have to be careful when they’re communicating with others who they don’t know on the Internet,” Leyton said.

On June 21, 2010, by a 2-1 margin, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the August 2008 federal ruling that the Cassaday suicide note was not admissible.

On Nov. 14, 2011 the US Supreme Court remanded the Sharee Miller case to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals for further consideration in light of Green v Fisher, 565 US, 132 S Ct at 573.

On February 16, 2012 the Sixth Circuit remanded the case to the District Court, Roberts, J., “for further consideration in light of Green and Ohio v Roberts, 448 US 56 (1980) and “any other relevant matter.”, leaving the question of supplemental briefing to the District Court. (Op. pp 10, 11) The parties agreed that Ohio v Roberts and not Crawford v Washington controlled the issue of the admissibility of the suicide note of Jerry Cassaday which implicated Sharee in the murder of her husband Bruce Miller.

On Aug. 2, 2012 the District Court entered its opinion and ordered reinstatement of Miller’s convictions and revoked her bond. Miller has been returned to the Michigan Department of Corrections [MDOC] to continue serving her sentences.

The District Court held that it was error for it and the Sixth Circuit to address Miller’s claim under Crawford v Washington. Crawford was decided March 8, 2004, or eight months after the Michigan Court Appeals affirmed Miller’s convictions, but before the Michigan Supreme Court ruled on Miller’s request for leave to appeal. The District Court went on to hold that the Michigan Court of Appeals decision did not involve an unreasonable application of Ohio v Roberts. (Op. p 20)

The Court also held that the Michigan Court of Appeals did not apply a rule that was “contrary to” Supreme Court precedent when it held that Jerry Cassaday’s suicide note was admissible. (Op. p 20)

The Court further explained that the suicide note “possessed sufficient guarantees of trustworthiness” to satisfy defendant’s constitutional right of confrontation. Further, the Michigan Court of Appeals’ factual determination, that the statements were spontaneous, voluntary, made to Cassaday’s parents and less likely to be fabricated because he was about to kill himself, were reasonable findings.

The Court also determined that reliance on these facts to uphold the admission of the suicide note is supported by Supreme Court precedent. The District Court also found that the Michigan Court of Appeals decision did not involve an unreasonable application of Ohio v Roberts. (Op. p. 23)

On February 11, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in a 2-1 opinion, affirmed the federal district court's reinstatement of Miller's convictions and sentences. Miller v Stovall, 742 F3d 642 (2014).

In 2016 Sharee Miller, in a four-page typed letter sent to Genesee Circuit Judge Judith A. Fullerton, admitted to her role in her husband, death.

In popular culture

The trial made national headlines; Miller’s life was profiled on A&E American Justice, Investigation Discovery's Deadly Women and on the Oxygen Channel's true crime series Snapped.

The case was the subject of a book, Fatal Error, by Kansas City Star reporter Mark Morris and Paul Janczewski. A television movie produced by Lifetime Television called Fatal Desire starring Eric Roberts and Anne Heche was also based on the Sharee Miller case. And there was a Forensic Files episode about this case (Web of Seduction, season 8, episode 34).


Wife who convinced ex-cop lover to kill her husband 17-years-ago in case that inspired Lifetime movie FINALLY admits guilt from behind bars

  • Sharee Miller's husband, Bruce Miller, was killed by a shotgun blast in 1999

  • Months later, her lover committed suicide and left behind a letter in which he admitted to shooting the man and accused Miller of arranging the deed

  • Miller was sentenced to life in prison on conspiracy and murder charges

  • Miller, 44, always maintained her innocence - until now

  • In a recent letter to a judge, she admitted to manipulating her lover into killing her husband

  • 'I knew [the murder] was going to happen and I allowed it. I allowed a man to kill another man based on my lies and manipulation,' she wrote

By Anton Nilsson For

April 30, 2016

A Michigan woman convicted in the 1999 murder of her husband has finally admitted to the killing after maintaining her innocence for over 16 years.

In a remorseful letter sent recently to Genesee Circuit Judge Judith A. Fullerton, Sharee Miller, 44, admitted to arranging for her husband to be killed by her lover.

'Judge Fullerton, I did it. Almost the way the prosecutor said I did,' Miller wrote in a letter first reported by the Flint Journal.

'I knew [the murder] was going to happen and I allowed it. I allowed a man to kill another man based on my lies and manipulation.'

Miller's husband, Bruce Miller, was killed by a shotgun blast inside his junkyard office on the evening of November 8, 1999.

Believing at first the death was a result of a botched robbery, police failed to find a credible lead and the case went cold for months.

In February the following year, Sharee Miller's lover, ex-cop Jerry Cassaday, killed himself in Missouri and left a suicide note in which he admitted to carrying out the murder and accused Miller of planning the deed.

Cassaday's accusation, and instant chat message logs left behind by the former police officer as evidence of the set-up, eventually led Miller to be thrown in prison for life on conspiracy and second-degree murder charges.

In 2008, Miller won an appeal and was released from prison the following year, after a judge agreed with her lawyers' argument that the suicide letter should not have been admitted as evidence against her because Cassaday was not available for cross-examination.

In 2012, Miller was sent back to prison to continue to serve her original sentence after a court re-interpreted the admissibility of the suicide letter, as the Flint Journal reported.

Throughout it all, Miller maintained she was innocent - so her admission of guilt came as a shock to Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton, who also received a copy of her letter.

'I was very surprised,' Leyton told the Flint Journal.

In her letter, Miller wrote that she was driven to admit the truth after watching her daughter cry as she was sent back to the Huron Valley Women's Complex in 2012.

'Something happened inside me when I had to come back to prison after three years of freedom,' Miller wrote.

'You see my daughter and grand daughter were living with me. Although I begged my daughter NOT to come with me when my roomate [sic] dropped me back off at this prison, [my daughter] would not listen.'

'When I was walking through those sliding doors, looking back at my daughter, she was crying so hard... I remember hearing her scream, "NO MOM, NO, DONT LEAVE [sic].'

'After that moment, Judge Fullerton, the FULL impact of what I had done to Bruce, his friends and family, Jerry and his friends and family, hit me with full force. They will NEVER get to see them again. My daughter will be able to come see me.'

In her letter, Miller also accused three different attorneys, including her current lawyer, David Nickola, of refusing to listen to her admission of guilt.

Nickola denied the accusation, and said that if Miller's confession had come sooner, she could have taken a plea deal offered before the trial, served 15 years in prison, and been a free woman by now, the Flint Journal reported.

The murder of Bruce Miller was widely covered at the time, and the criminal case was turned into a Lifetime television movie and a best-selling book.

The case was notable for being one of the earliest murder cases in the United States in which online relationships played an important role.

Excerpts from Jerry Cassaday's suicide letter that implicated Sharee Miller in her husband's murder

I drove there and killed him. Sharee was involved and set it up, I have all the proof and I am sending it to the police, she will get whats coming.

I have been so stupid, but now you know the real story of why I went into such a state of depression... because I just couldn’t tell anyone the truth...

[S]he just wanted all her money and no more husband, well she got her wish, but she is soon to learn that she cant do that to people...

[N]ow I know it was all just more lies and games from [S]haree, she didn’t care what it took or who she hurt to get what she wanted.

Source: Sharee Miller v. Clarice Stovall


Woman in infamous internet love triangle slaying admits guilt 17 years later

By Gary Ridley - The Flint Journal

April 28, 2016

VIENNA TWP., MI - It's been roughly 17 years since Sharee Miller's husband was shot to death at his Vienna Township auto salvage business.

Now, the woman who has repeatedly proclaimed her innocence has admitted she was involved in his killing.

Miller, in a four-page typed letter sent recently to Genesee Circuit Judge Judith A. Fullerton, admitted to her role in her husband, Bruce L. Miller's, death.

"I was living two lives and I got caught up and did not want to get caught so I planned a murder and went through with it," Miller wrote. "Instead of my family or Bruce's family finding out what I really was, I thought I could cover it up by having Bruce murdered. I cannot deny this anymore."

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said he believes the letter and confession is authentic.

"I also received a letter of confession from Sharee Miller," Leyton said. "I was very surprised."

The admission will likely bring an end to an ongoing legal case stemming from a murder that resulted in a Lifetime television movie, a best-selling book and extensive media coverage.

Bruce Miller was found dead Nov. 8, 1999, at his Vienna Township business, B&D Auto Parts. He had a shotgun wound to his neck.

At first, officials thought Bruce Miller was a victim of a robbery-gone-bad. But, a suicide months later nearly half a country away turned investigators' attention to his wife.

Former police officer Jerry Cassaday killed himself Feb. 11, 2000, 700 miles away in Missouri and left behind a suicide note and other evidence that would eventually be used to link Sharee Miller to the killing.

The evidence included an instant message conversation Cassaday had with Sharee Miller just hours before the murder of her husband. She told Cassaday how to get to her husband's junkyard and where to park.

Cassaday went on to implicate Sharee Miller in a suicide note and emails from his computer. He told relatives that Sharee Miller used sex and lies to persuade him to kill Bruce Miller.

"I had sixteen and a half hours to stop it. And I didn't," Sharee Miller wrote in her confession letter. "I knew it was going to happen and I allowed it. I allowed a man to kill another man based on my lies and manipulation."

She added that the killing happened "almost the way the prosecutor said I did."

Leyton said he informed Bruce Miller's family of the letter and that they declined comment.

Sharee Miller had visited Cassaday multiple times while he worked as a pit boss in a Reno, Nev., casino. He wanted her to leave Bruce and marry him. Emails showed Sharee Miller told Cassaday her husband was in the mafia, that he beat and raped her and she lost a child she allegedly conceived through her and Cassaday's tryst.

However, Sharee Miller was unable to get pregnant following a medical procedure and she recanted the other accusations about her husband in her confession letter.

"He was a great man," Sharee Miller wrote about her husband. "He never hurt me or my children. All he did was love us. He wanted to adopt my children. He just wanted a family. The only man who loved me for me and I had him killed."

Cassaday eventually committed suicide after Sharee Miller broke off communication with him following the murder and he turned to drinking and drugs.

His family turned the evidence over to authorities, which were able to use it to secure conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and second-degree murder charges against Sharee Miller.

Detective Kevin Shanlian, who investigated the case, said the family's decision to turn over the information, even though it revealed their loved one was a murderer, was the key to the case.

"Cassaday's family had no reason to come forward," Shanlian said.

Shanlian wasn't aware of the confession until being contacted by MLive-The Flint Journal.

"I'm glad she came forward," Shanlian said. "I almost feel bad she waited so long to tell the truth."

Her trial, billed as the Internet's first murder case, started in December 2000 and drew intense interest from local and national media. Court TV covered the entirety of the trial. It later spawned a book that appeared on the New York Time's best seller list and a TV movie starring Anne Hecht and Eric Roberts.

Sharee Miller's attorney, David Nickola, said the case could have turned out much different if his client would have been truthful from the beginning, adding that a plea agreement was offered before the trial.

Shanlian said Sharee Miller would be a free woman today if she accepted the plea, which would have included a maximum possible sentence of 15 years in prison.

Instead the case went to trial, and she was eventually sentenced to life in prison.

The case then slogged through the appeals process, and even included a judge releasing her from prison in 2009 and ordering a new trial after concerns about the admissibility of Cassaday's suicide note. A federal judge ordered her back to prison three years later.

Her appeals eventually failed, and the confession will likely prevent the success of any future appeals.

However, in her confession letter, Sharee Miller said she wanted to tell the truth to her attorneys but was always advised against it.

"Throughout these 16 years I have asked three different attorney's to let me tell them the truth," she wrote. "They did not want to know it.

Nickola denied the accusation.

"She maintained her innocence, always," Nickola said. "I did the best I could do with what I had to work with."

The case was even eventually picked up by the University of Michigan Clinical Law program, including the assignment of current state Supreme Court Justice Bridget McCormack as an attorney.

McCormack declined to comment on the case. Her counterpart at the clinic, Kimberly Thomas, could not be reached for comment.

Sharee Miller is currently lodged at the Huron Valley Women's Complex.

"I hurt a lot of people," she wrote. "I destroyed a lot of lives. It is time to end the lies and tell the truth."


Sharee Miller: Bruce Miller, Jerry Cassaday, Michael Denoyer

By Chellie Cervone -

December 1, 2013

FLINT, Mich., and ODESSA, Mo. — Convicted murderess Sharee Miller thought that she could get away with murder.

And she almost did.

Born in Michigan on Oct. 13, 1971, she was attracted to, and excited by, the seedier side of life.

She was on her own at age 16 and just three years later she was married and already had one child under her belt.

That marriage ended and for the next nine years Sharee Miller bounced around from man to man.

Although she wasn’t beautiful, she was certainly attractive and had a wild side.

She would reportedly do anything and everything in the bedroom and had a way of making her newest conquest feel like he was the most important person in her life.

She went on to have two more children fathered by two different men.

Her second husband (Tribbey) was convicted of second degree child abuse for hitting their child so hard that it resulted in a number of skull fractures for which he received a short sentence.

He was also reportedly tried for sexually abusing her then six-year-old, but was found not guilty for lack of evidence.

That’s the type of element Sharee mixed with.

By 1997, the 26-year-old already had three children, all with different fathers, and was looking for someone that could take care of her.

Enter Bruce Miller.

Sharee Miller meets Bruce Miller

Sharee used a number of names:

Sharee Duvall
Sharee Tribbey
Sharee Paulette Duvall
Sharee Paulette Kitley
Sharee Paulette Tribbey

Using one or a variation of the aliases, Sharee accepted a job in 1997 at B & D Salvage in Vienna Township, just outside of Flint, Mich.

The salvage yard was owned by Bruce Miller.

Working in a salvage yard was a great fit for Miller who had a penchant for dealing with the rough and tumble crowd that generally did business with, and frequented, salvage yards.

Bruce Miller had some money, owned his own business and was likely besotted by the woman who was 20 years his junior.

Sharee Miller figured he could provide her with some stability and money.

He’d do for the time being.

Sharee and Bruce Miller get married

By 1999, she had her hooks in Bruce Miller and they got married.

There were people who knew Sharee that did not even know she was married because they said she flirted shamelessly and acted single.

Sharee Paulette Kitley Miller, or whatever name she was using at the time, helped out at the salvage yard and also sold Mary Kay cosmetics.

She spent a lot of time on the computer engaged in chat and, not too long after getting hitched for at least the third time, met Jerry Cassaday in an online chatroom.

Sharee Miller meets Jerry Cassaday

Cassaday was a former Cass County, Mo., cop who at one time had aspirations of becoming an FBI agent.

His plans were derailed after he exposed alleged wrongdoing within the department.

In retaliation for his complaints, he was shunned, demoted and eventually left the force.

His marriage crumbled, he drank too much, dabbled in drugs and was looking for a fresh start.

He ended up in Reno, Nev. employed as a pit boss at Harrah’s Casino and Hotel.

Although somewhat lonely and troubled, most thought of him as a nice guy.

The two continued to communicate online until they could find a way to meet in person.

That opportunity presented itself when Miller traveled to Reno, Nev. for a Mary Kay convention.

Their online affair turned into a physical affair and Cassaday thought that his life was going to change for the better.

She told him she was a rich businesswomen, living with a disabled husband and he believed everything she told him.

He also had no qualms sleeping with a married woman.

Sharee Miller uses Jerry Cassaday

Cassady, a former cop, should have known that he was being had.

For unknown reasons, he didn’t.

Perhaps it was too much booze or too many drugs.

All he knew was that he was crazy about Sharee Miller.

After their initial face-to-face meeting, the two continued their provocative online relationship exchanging hundreds of emails, with a few more in-person visits.

The sexually explicit photos that Miller sent, along with emails professing her love, seemingly blinded Cassady.

Whether he was just gullible, impaired or broken, he was an easy conquest for Miller and it did not take too much to convince him that he needed to kill her husband.

She weaved a web of deceit and:

  • Sent Cassaday a steamy video of her masturbating.

  • Told Cassaday her husband was abusive.

  • Used makeup to make herself look injured and sent the doctored photos to Cassaday.

  • Said she was pregnant by Cassaday and sent him a fake sonogram.

  • Told him she lost the baby because her husband raped her.

  • Told Cassaday her husband was really a mafia don who would never allow her to leave.

  • Said she was pregnant again, this time with twins, and padded herself to appear pregnant.

  • Set up an account in her husbands name and used this account to send Cassaday taunting, cruel and threatening emails.

  • Claimed her husband had some of “his people” violently gang rape her until the twins were killed.

Her manipulations worked.

Cassaday did not know that Miller could not have any more children because she had a tubal ligation and was devastated over the loss of the twins.

Miller directed the hit of her husband that she had only been married to for seven months.

She told Cassaday where to find her husband, how much money he would have on him and called him to tell him when to enter the business.

On November 8, 1999 Bruce Miller was murdered at his auto salvage business.

A blast from a shotgun was the cause of death.

The cunning Miller tried to cover all bases and arranged for her brother-in-law Chuck and his wife Judy to find the body.

She had called them, after she knew he was dead, to say she was worried because her husband was late.

They went to check on him and found his body.

Sharee Miller’s carefree behavior after husbands death

Those that knew Miller, and even the police, noticed that she did not seem too upset after her husband was murdered.

Just two days later, she was dancing in a bar in Otisville, Mich.

Within two weeks she had a live-in boyfriend and it wasn’t Jerry Cassaday.

Jerry Cassaday commits suicide

After the murder of Bruce Miller, Cassaday likely thought he would be with the woman he loved.

After all, he killed for her.

But, that did not happen.

Miller started to distance herself over the next month from Cassaday, and even taunted him about her new relationship.

She completely broke it off in December leaving Cassaday devastated.

At this point most people believe that the realization finally struck Cassaday that he murdered an innocent man in cold blood and was wracked with guilt.

Although that might be somewhat true, Cassaday also felt sorry for himself that he didn’t get the “prize” (Sharee Miller) he was promised for killing her husband.

Already on leave from his job and staying in a ground floor apartment at the home of relatives in Odessa, Mo, Cassaday decided to end his life.

Before killing himself, he wanted to make sure that Sharee Miller would be held accountable for her role in the murder.

On Feb. 11, 2000, Cassaday was found dead.

He may have been dead for one or two days before family members found his body in an easy chair with an open Bible in his lap.

Days after his body had been removed, the family was cleaning the apartment when they found a briefcase under the bed with three suicide notes and an envelope taped to the outside of it.

Inside the briefcase, he left behind enough information that would ultimately convict Sharee Miller at trial including a hard copy of an instant message conversation he had with Miller only hours before Bruce Miller was murdered.

In that conversation, Miller provided Cassaday with directions to the salvage yard and also told him where to park.

She even called Cassaday to let him know when it was time to drive into the salvage yard and murder her husband.

He emphatically stated,

I drove there and killed him.

The suicide note he left for his parents that was taped to the outside of the briefcase, said that Sharee lied to him and that he was in a deep depression.

Miller was arrested after the evidence he had compiled was found and verified.

Sharee Miller sentenced

On Jan. 29, 2001, Sharee Miller was sentenced to life in prison for conspiracy to murder, and received 54 to 81 years for second-degree murder.

Sharee Miller gets engaged in jail to Michael Denoyer

Being in jail did not slow Sharee Miller down.

Miller never had to go long without male company and admirers.

Even with her much more hardened looks and weight gain, she still attracted men.

Michael Denoyer of Bourbonnais, Ill. was one of those men.

The then 56-year-old man was sitting at home one day in November 2007, watching Snapped on the Oxygen network when he saw Sharee Miller.

There was something about her murderous eyes that beckoned him. He said,

I saw something in her eyes that broke my heart.

He was so besotted with the convicted murderer that he saw on a television show featuring women who killed their husbands that he wrote her a letter.

She responded to his letter and in 2008, he visited her in prison.

On that very first visit he proposed and Sharee Miller accepted.

Some reports state that the two were actually married in April 2008, although there is absolutely no proof of that union.

We reached out to Denoyer to ask him about it and if a response is received, we will post it.

Denoyer comes from a close-knit family so it is surprising that a seemingly normal individual would want to be with a convicted murderer that he saw on television.

A person who claims to be Denoyer’s nephew attempted to explained the attraction when he commented on an online article. Here is what he said,

He has had his fair share of broken marriages and its not fair for anyone to critisize based on information you “found” or “heard” from the internet. He has told all of us that “there was something in her eyes” and we have all watched the “snapped” episode as well as the “ID” episode and we can’t see what he sees. He swears up and down she is innocent. I don’t believe its my business why he “chose” her but he did and its not up to me to decide if its right or wrong.

Denoyer currently lists himself as single.

Sharee Miller gains freedom

Ironically, Sharee Miller was granted a new trial because of the suicide note left by Cassaday.

Cassaday wanted to ensure that Sharee Miller paid for her part in the crime and that very plan temporarily backfired.

The court ruled that since Cassaday could not be cross examined, because he was dead, that the suicide note should not have been admitted.

After much legal wrangling, on July 29, 2009, Sharee Miller was released from the Genesee County Jail on a $100,000 recognizance bond while awaiting her new trial.

She had spent more than 10 years behind bars.

Sharee Miller enjoys her freedom while it lasts

Miller was out of jail and up to her usual antics.

Partying and meeting men. The usual.

She maintained a variety of accounts on social networks just for this purpose.

in 2011, she claimed on her personal Facebook page that she was working at the Comedy Shop as a video and photo editor.

Using her personal account, Miller reveled in posting inspirational messages, joined a deadbeat dads group and appeared to be filled to the brim with excitement that she would soon be a grandmother.

She enjoyed her freedom to the fullest.

She visited with her children, other family members and friends.

She enrolled in photo classes, maintained a highly visible presence on social media and was heavily involved in planning her daughter’s baby shower.

She professed that she was a changed woman.

She readily admitted that she had bad morals and told dateline, just “because my morals were so bad, that doesn’t mean I was capable of murder”.

She received mental health counseling and admitted to doing a lot of bad things but did not admit to murdering her husband.

She said that she missed many years of her children’s lives because her mother raised them and claims that the Bible changed her life.

She was a new and improved woman.

On the Casaveneracion website, a person who claims to be Sharee Miller responded to an article about her.

Sharee Miller •−
I am still home and free, It will be two years this month. I have won at every level, thank God. There is more to the system then people care to learn. Whether you believe my innocence or you believe I am guilty doesn’t affect me. I want to thank those who spoke out for me, I appreciate the voices of knowledge speaking out. Everyone has an opinion in this life. But some opinions are not based on the HARD facts. Whenever there is a “shadow of a doubt” in a case in our justice system then there should be a not guilty verdict. Those are the instructions that are given. We cannot find people guilty based on our feelings or opinions of that person. I am now in the US Supreme Court still fighting for a fair and just trial. If it would have been fair and the laws would have been followed by the Judge (who by the way should have known the laws) then maybe the outcome would have been different. I remember watching several people being released from prison once DNA WAS A FACTOR. So many people spent so many years in prison when they were innocent. How many of you judged those very people guilty of those crimes because the prosecutors case LOOKED good? Only now to find out after many many many many years in prison they were ALL INNOCENT? So sad that we live in a world full of judges, so sad that so many people judge others when really, honestly, we ALL have only one judge…Our Lord and Savior. Have a blessed and safe life.

Miller even received support from Monica Jahner, an outreach worker with A.R.R.O., Advocacy, Re-entry, Resources Outreach.

Jahner spoke at the Lansing State Capitol about the importance of providing help to former inmates once they are out of prison.

And then it was all over.

Sharee Miller ordered back to jail

After three years of frolicking in her freedom, Miller was ordered back to jail in August 2012 to serve out her original sentence.

Her legal team is appealing.

According to Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton,

In my opinion, justice has once again prevailed and Sharee Miller is where she belongs.


Decade-old murder case still casts spell in Genesee County

January 1, 2010

It's been just a shade more than 10 years since a blue-collar worker at GM was killed in the Genesee County junkyard he owned. It's been nearly nine years since his wife was convicted of conspiring with her Internet lover to commit the murder.

And yet, the case still resonates with crime-watchers to this day.

The past decade has seen the case depicted in a New York Times best-selling true crime book by two reporters who covered the trial. The book, in turn, served as the basis for a made-for-television movie starring Anne Heche, an Emmy Award winning actress who now is featured in the HBO series "Hung." For good measure, the woman convicted in the murder-conspiracy plot has been released from prison awaiting a new trial.

But while the endgame of this bizarre saga remains unknown, the case still has relevance, and occasionally surfaces in the public eye.

On a recent Monday, during a criminal law class at ITT Technology near Swartz Creek taught by Genesee Circuit Court Judge Geoffrey Neithercut, co-author Paul Janczewski of the book "Fatal Error" was the featured guest speaker. Janczewski, a former reporter for The Flint Journal, now writes for The Detroit Legal News and its related publications.

Judge Neithercut has known Janczewski for years, continually crossing paths with him as the reporter covered cases in Flint District Court and later in Genesee County Circuit Court.

"Mr. Janczewski's presentation was very relevant to our study of the laws of conspiracy and criminal solicitation," said Judge Neithercut, who has taught at ITT for two years. "The class and I were able to apply the facts of his book and the criminal trial, and the changes that have developed over the years. And since this woman's conviction was overturned, we also had serious discussion on how she would be re-prosecuted under the new evidence rules."

The case began Nov. 8, 1999, when Bruce L. Miller, 48, was found dead at his business, B & D Auto Parts, with a shotgun wound to his neck. Police believed initially it was a robbery gone bad, and the case remained unsolved for months.

But on Feb. 11, 2000, a suicide 700 miles away in Missouri energized the case in a totally unexpected manner. Jerry L. Cassaday, 39, left behind a briefcase, with a suicide note and other items, including a printout of an instant message conversation he had with Sharee P. Miller hours before the murder of her husband. In the IM, Sharee told Cassaday how to get to her husband's junkyard, and where to park so it would not arouse his suspicions. She also arranged to make a series of telephone calls, first to her husband to make sure he was alone, and then back to Cassaday to let him know it was time to drive into the junkyard.

In his suicide note, and numerous e-mails found on Cassaday's computer, he implicated Sharee Miller, 29, of Mount Morris, in the murder plot.

"I drove there and killed him," Cassaday wrote in his suicide note.

He told relatives that his lover was in on the murder plot, and asked them to turn over his evidence to police.

In those communications, Cassaday detailed how Sharee Miller enticed him to murder Bruce Miller by using sex, lies, and videotapes. Sharee Miller made several trips to Reno, Nev., where Cassaday, a former cop himself, was working as a casino pit boss.

Over the course of several months, Sharee Miller and Cassaday also exchanged hundreds and hundreds of e-mails. He fell in love with her and wanted her to leave her husband and get married. In her e-mails, Sharee Miller told Cassaday she was a business owner, and that her husband was involved in the Mafia, and that through their in-person flings in Reno, she had gotten pregnant with Cassaday's child.

But shortly before Bruce Miller was murdered, Sharee e-mailed Cassaday that she had beaten and raped her by her husband, and lost their child. Enraged, Cassaday plotted the murder with Sharee in an IM.

In truth, Sharee Miller could never get pregnant, because she had undergone a tubal ligation years earlier. She was the mother of three children from several different fathers, and her marriage to a man 19 years older than her was viewed suspiciously by Bruce Miller's relatives.

After the murder of Bruce Miller, Sharee basically cut off communications with Cassaday, spent large amounts of cash refurnishing her home, and became romantically involved with another Genesee County man.

Cassaday fell into a spiral of more drinking and drug use, left his job in Reno, and returned to Missouri to rehab with relatives. But despondent over his break-up with a woman who used him and lied to him, and overcome with grief over the murder of an innocent man, Cassaday committed suicide.

Armed with this information, police arrested and charged Sharee Miller for the murder of her husband.

Her trial began in December, 2000, and prosecutors laid out for jurors dozens of witnesses who testified to Sharee Miller's lies, hundreds of e-mails detailing the path of Sharee and Cassaday's relationship and, of course, the suicide note and IM plotting the murder.

Attorney David Nikola, who represented Sharee Miller at trial, claimed that the IM could have been made up by Cassaday. Nikola portrayed Cassaday as gullible, suicidal, drug-addicted, and a "loser" who set up his client to avenge being jilted.

Sharee Miller testified over three hours that she had an affair with Cassaday, had fed him dozens of lies, and admitted to exchanging hundreds of e-mails with him, telling him twice that she was pregnant with his child. She also sent Cassaday a sonogram she claimed was their child, a videotape of her masturbating, as well as another videotape showing the junkyard and her children, and telling Cassaday one day this "would all be his."

But Sharee Miller denied plotting to kill her husband, and said her entire online affair with Cassaday was just the stuff of fantasy and nothing more.

After deliberating 15 hours over two days, jurors convicted her, and Genesee Circuit Judge Judith Fullerton later sentenced Miller to life in prison for first degree premeditated murder.

The trial, billed as the first Internet murder case, attracted the interest of local and national media. Court TV covered the trial gavel-to gavel, as did Janczewski and Mark Morris, a court reporter for The Kansas City Star.

A few months after the trial, Janczewski and Morris decided that the story was ripe for a detailed telling, and collaborated on a book about the case. A literary agent hired by the two tried to peddle the idea to a number of publishers, eventually agreeing to a contract with Pinnacle Books of Kensington Publishing Corp.

Janczewski and Morris found they had a similar take on the case, and one of their stories for their respective newspapers were mirror images. The two spent more than a year researching and writing, and on several occasions Morris took a leave of absence from his job, devoting a total of more than two months in Flint as the two worked on the book. The co-authors also spent dozens of hours on the telephone and on computers discussing the case, fine-tuning the manuscript and answering publisher's questions.

In January 2003, the book, titled "Fatal Error," was released in paperback.

"As reporters, we live to write, it's our passion," said Janczewski. "But deep inside, we all want to write a book. I was fortunate enough to be in the right place when this case came along, and lucky to have a fabulous reporter and great writer like Mark to complete this project. We each brought our own life experiences, personalities, and style to the book, which made this something neither of us will ever forget."

"And it had everything a writer could possibly ask for - sex, lies, murder, suicide, and a woman behind the whole sordid mess," Janczewski said. "You just cannot make this stuff up."

In early 2003, the book made The New York Times best-seller list in the non-fiction paperback category for one week.

"Professionally, the story was a slow motion hurricane," Morris said.

"After 'Fatal Error' was published in February 2003, each of us shamelessly called in every media favor we could to promote it and, for one shining week, we sat on The New York Times Best Sellers List. That was a short stay, but long enough for us to now be called 'New York Times bestselling authors,'" Morris said.

The case was covered in a number of ways on television. It appeared on Court TV three times, with Janczewski and Morris in segments serving as commentators. Janczewski also appeared on "American Justice" on the Arts and Entertainment network (A&E), and the Oprah Winfrey network on its series titled "Snapped." The case also has been featured on NBC's "Dateline" and "Inside Edition."

In 2006, Janczewski and Morris saw their book come to life when the rights were picked up by Lifetime and aired in a made-for-television movie called "Fatal Desire."

The movie was filmed in late 2005 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Janczewski and Morris were there for several days watching the filming, meeting actors and the crew, and the film's producer and director.

"Our movie agent connected us with a remarkable producer - Jane Goldenring - who loved and respected the material and produced a TV movie in April 2006 that emerged much better than most book-to-movie transitions," Morris said.

"The highlight of that was meeting Anne Heche and Eric Roberts, who starred in the movie, and joining dozens of people at a wrap-party," Janczewski said. "A bonus came when Mark and I were added as extras in the film. You can see us for about one second, in the background of a crucial scene, but it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience." Morris agrees.

"Our first non-fiction book not only was published, but appeared on The New York Times list and was made into a decent movie," he said. "That's an incredible trifecta."

The conviction of Miller was later upheld in state court appeals. But when it was appealed in federal court, a judge ruled in 2008 that Miller was entitled to a new trial, based on the erroneous admission of the suicide note and the IM plotting the murder.

State prosecutors are appealing that federal ruling, but Miller was released from prison in 2009 and is awaiting a new trial.

"The case has lingered for as long as it has because Mrs. Miller has excellent legal representation and benefited from Crawford v. Washington, a landmark Supreme Court ruling that changed how courts deal with the confrontation clause of the U.S. Constitution," said Morris, who continues to work at The Kansas City Star. "It's amazing to me that checking up on the Bruce Miller story is still part of my daily routine."

He said the case may eventually go to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Nothing in her appeals should be dismissed as a legal 'technicality,'" Morris said. "It's all about what evidence should go before a jury, which lies at the heart of our trial courts' fairness. If her case can help clarify how evidence is to be admitted in court, I'm completely fine with that, even though it's hard on the Miller family. They have suffered so much. This was a difficult case from the beginning and judges have struggled with it and come to varied and remarkable legal conclusions."

Janczewski added that beyond all the legal wrangling and interpretation of law, the sad bottom line is that two men, Miller and Cassaday, are dead.

"Neither of those men deserved to die, and the Miller and Cassaday families are still left with a grief and emptiness that no court ruling can satisfy," he said.


Additional summary of the evidence presented and arguments pursued at trial

Jerry Cassaday was a sheriff's deputy in Cass County, Michigan for almost a decade. He reached the rank of lieutenant but resigned that position in 1994. He left Michigan and joined the security detail at Harrah's North Kansas City Casino & Hotel, and that led to a job dealing cards at Harrah's in Reno, Nevada.

Cassaday met defendant Sharee Miller, then 27 and more than 10 years Cassaday's junior, at the casino in Reno in 1999. She was an attractive and seemingly wealthy woman from Flint. She stayed in the plusher hotel suites, and Cassaday heard stories about her money, jewelry and businesses.

Workers at Harrah's first saw Jerry and Sharee together in the early summer of 1999, when she was in town for a Mary Kay Cosmetics convention. Miller had just married.

In April 1999, she had married Bruce Miller, a General Motors Corp. autoworker who ran an auto salvage yard on the side. She opened the business in the mornings while her husband slept, and then he took over in the afternoon before he started the third shift. She also cared for her three children from a previous marriage.

Between her visits to Reno, Miller and Cassaday kept in touch through the Internet. They sent each other hundreds of e-mail and spent hours corresponding in private chat rooms. The two almost always used the same screen names: She was "Jerry's Fool." And he was "Sharee's Fool."

"Your fool for life, Jerry," Cassaday would sign off.

"Love, your brat, Sharee," she'd answer.

In a Sept. 23, 1999, chat session, Cassaday read that Miller had been pregnant, that he was the father, and he pressed for details.

"This next part will be hard. I lost my baby, Jerry."

"No," Cassaday responded.

"I never thought I would ever tell you that he hits. I got in trouble because I was with you."

Cassaday demanded more details.

"Sharee, you can tell me now, or in person when I beat it out of him," he wrote.

"Where did he hit you?" Cassaday demanded.

"Jerry, I can't tell you."

Cassaday pushed for more.

"He didn't hit me, Jerry; he raped me. I lost the baby because of the force."

The next day Cassaday wrote: "The things you told me ripped me in half. No one, I mean no one, is going to get away with the things he has done to you."

The next month Miller wrote that she was pregnant again, this time with twins by Jerry.

"Baby, it's all gonna be fine soon," Cassaday tapped out on his computer. "We will live a wonderful happy life together."

Soon, after Cassaday had moved back to Missouri, he received electronic pictures of the sonograms.

"I love the e-mails you sent me about the baby," Cassaday wrote. "Please don't stop sending me this stuff. I love you so much honey."

Jerry Cassaday opened his e-mail Nov. 5 to a message written under Bruce Miller's screen name. (The prosecution presented evidence to prove that Sharee Miller had posed as her husband, using his screen name, to send the following messages purportedly from Bruce.)


Cassaday called hospitals in Flint and Sharee Miller's cell phone with no luck.

"I'm beginning to worry. Where are you honey?? I love you," Cassaday wrote in a Nov. 6 e-mail.

At 2 p.m., Cassaday found this message on his computer: "This is Sharee. I am going away for a few days. I will contact you next week sometime."

This e-mail, again purportedly from Bruce, greeted Cassaday the next afternoon:


Later that day, Cassaday went back online and found electronic photographs that seemed to show Sharee had suffered a horrific beating. (The prosecution presented evidence to show that these photos were fabricated by defendant Miller).

On November 89, 1999, at around 6:30 p.m., Bruce Miller was shot with at 12-gauge shotgun. Bruce had just gotten off the phone with Sharee. Forensic and medical testimony established that the blast tore into Miller's neck and upper chest, killed him instantly and knocked him out of the chair onto an oily piece of carpet.

The email and instant messaging contents were read to the jury by two deputies. This was their testimony regarding a chat session the day before the murder:

Deputy #2 [reading Sharee's messages]: (In court) (Reading) "Jerry, I am scared. Jerry, if this don't work, he will hurt me bad."

Deputy #1 [Reading Jerry's responses]: (In court) (Reading) "It'll work. What is the fastest way into the yard from 75?"

Deputy #2: (In court) (Reading e-mail) "75 to Mount Morris Road exit. Now you need to listen to me for a minute. I will call Bruce at 5 PM.

Deputy #1: (In court) (Reading) "OK."

Deputy #2: (In court) (Reading) "Is the gun loud?"

Deputy #1: (In court) (Reading) "Somewhat."

Deputy #2: (In court) (Reading) "Just do it and get the hell out of there."

Deputy #1: (In court) (Reading) "I want him to know who I am."

Deputy #2: (In court) (Reading) "Jerry, please."

Deputy #1: (In court) (Reading) "He will know."

Deputy #2: (In court) (Reading) "He will know."

Deputy #1: (In court) (Reading) But not for long."

Deputy #2:(In court) (Reading) "Are you going to be able to live with this the rest of your life? Because I can."

Deputy #1: (In court) (Reading) "I love you. Yes, I can."

Prosecutors argued the actual murder took place almost as it was scripted in that instant message exchange. That on November 89th, 1999, Jerry Cassaday drove from Missouri to Michigan and met Sharee. And that she gave him her cell phone. The state claimed Sharee then called him on that cell phone at about 6:15 that evening.

Prosecutors claimed Sharee then called up her husband, and while Jerry Cassaday approached, kept Bruce on the phone. Phone records confirmed that calls were made from those phone at the times claimed by the prosecution. Records also show that Sharee Miller's cell phone was used to make a call to her home number at 6:47 p.m.; the caller rang once and hanged up.

Not long after the murder, the Internet communication between Sharee Miller and Jerry Cassaday slowed.

On Jan. 10 in a two-page e-mail, Cassaday told her he still was waiting for her. "You told me time and time again of how well off you were, how you had what seemed to me like unlimited funds," Cassaday wrote. "You told me of account after account, funds after funds, stocks, IRAs, trust funds, businesses and homes." "I have always said that I am your fool," he wrote.

Cassaday shot himself with at .22 caliber rifle. He left a suicide note addressed to his brother in which he asked him to turn over materials to the police in Flint, Michigan. The note included a detailed description of how Cassaday had killed Bruce Miller.

According to evidence presented by the prosecution, just about everything that Jerry Cassaday was told about Bruce and Sharee Miller was wrong. Sharee Miller could not have become pregnant. She had a tubal ligation after the birth of her youngest child in the mid-1990s, court records show. The sonogram pictures that Cassaday received also were a fraud. Prosecutors pointed out that they were dated 1994.

The prosecution discounted allegations of spousal abuse, too. Flint area police agencies had never responded to any complaint of domestic violence at the Miller household. Bruce Miller had no criminal record, no known ties to organized crime. Neighbors described Bruce Miller as a loving family man.

After her husband's murder, Sharee Miller received the junkyard, which she subsequently sold, about $16,000 in the couple's bank accounts, a little stock and $80,000 in insurance, according to probate court records and investigators.

Miller's defense, which included her own testimony, denied that she had anything to do with her husband's murder, though they acknowledged Miller and Cassaday had a provocative and romantic fantasy relationship on the Internet.

Rather, the defense claimed that another man had committed the crime; the man police focused on at the beginning of the investigation, a former salvage yard employee already suspected in a scheme to switch vehicle identification numbers, a man who owed Bruce Miller money, a man a polygraph operator said had not told the entire truth.

The defense claimed that Cassaday then took advantage of the murder to take revenge. The defense described Cassaday as a "vindictive, alcoholic drug abuser" who concocted a tale that he had killed Bruce Miller to strike at Sharee Miller from the grave. "The relationship ended, and he couldn't handle that," the defense said of Cassaday.

(Sources: see Mark Morris, Deception Blamed In Killing, Suicide Two Men Are Dead, Widow Charged With Conspiracy To Murder, The Detroit Free Press, Metro Final, page 5 (October 4, 2000); NBC News Transcripts, Dateline NBC: The Man Who Knew Too Much; Murder mystery of two men: and the people involved (Reported by Hoda Kotbe, March 5, 2002)).



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