Samuel C. Miller
12 Years Old

October 2, 1982 to February 15, 1995

Samuel C. "Sam" Miller, of Orrville, Ohio, was full of energy and enthusiasm. He had an impish smile, was very outgoing and made friends easily. He was very lovable, but ornery, and loved practical jokes. He was in the sixth grade and attended Oak Street School.

Sam's favorite pastimes were watching TV, playing video games, riding his new bike with his friends, and going bowling with his older brother, Rod. Sam idolized his brother, who was 22, and spent what time he could with him. They had become very close in the last two years since Rod was in a near fatal car accident. Sam's favorite food, of course, was junk food - pizza, burgers, candy and pop. He was a member of the Orrville Area Boys & Girls Club and his best friends were Brandon and Jason.

Sam is survived by his mother and step-father, Vickie and Ashley Morris; his father and step-mother, Robert and Darlene Miller, one brother, Rodney Miller; two half-brothers, Bobby Miller and Aaron Still; one step-sister, Brittany Zickefoose,; maternal grandmother, Ruth Groves; paternal grandparents, Richard and Joretta Miller; step-grandparents, Ralph and Kathy Morris; and paternal great-grandmother, Eileen Yarger.

CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE MURDER

On February 15, 1995, school had been cancelled because of an ice storm and Samuel C. "Sam" Miller, 12, of Orrville, Ohio, and his friend, Brandon, went to the home of 16-year-old James Reed. Sam and Brandon were sitting on the bed in the back bedroom listening to music. Reed went into the living room and picked a lock on his father's desk and took out a .32-caliber handgun. He walked into the bedroom where the two boys were and cocked the gun from the doorway and pointed it at Brandon. Brandon yelled "No, No!" then Reed pointed the gun at Sam and pulled the trigger. Sam was shot in the head, above the right temple. Reed called his aunt who instructed him to call 911. According to Brandon, who overheard James make these calls, Reed was very calm and acted like nothing had happened. Brandon, in a panic, ran home. Before the sheriff's department arrived, Reed tried to clean up the crime scene by putting the gun back into the desk where he got it, with the clip in place and one bullet in the chamber. Reed then told the sheriff that Sam had shot himself. When Brandon returned and told the story to the sheriff, Reed then claimed he didn't know the gun was loaded.

Sam was taken to Dunlap Hospital and then transported to Akron Children's Hospital where he died three hours later. James Reed was convicted of negligent homicide and placed on juvenile probation until the year 2000.

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Samuel Miller