Salem murder trial set for June

LISBON – A mid-June jury trial was set in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court for Christopher L. Miller, 36, U.S. Route 62, Salem, who is accused in the Oct. 26 bludgeoning death of Matthew Bailey.

Miller is charged with both aggravated murder and murder, plus tampering with evidence.

Besides using prior calculation and design in causing Bailey’s death, Miller allegedly attempted to conceal or remove blood evidence from both the inside and outside of his girlfriend’s 2001 Ford Escape, blood which was later reportedly found through DNA testing to be Bailey’s.

Miller and Bailey were reportedly seen riding together in that vehicle, which belonged to Patty Colon, earlier on the day Bailey was found murdered. Miller had reportedly been driving.

Miller appeared in custody before Judge C. Ashley Pike Wednesday along with his attorneys, Jennifer Gorby and Charley Kidder. His attorneys agreed to allow time for prosecutors Tammie Riley Jones and John Gamble to provide the discovery evidence they have requested plus asked for additional time to look over the evidence and prepare for trial.

The case was supposed to be tried by mid-May, but the defense attorneys agreed to delay the deadline to give them more time to prepare.

Gamble said there are about 20 possible witnesses, a number of scientific experts and about a dozen lab reports in the evidence he is currently preparing to turn over to the defense as early as Monday. Gamble said he and Jones are prepared to try the case by mid-May, but a date of June 17 was chosen.

Gamble asked for the date to be reconsidered, noting both he and Jones are involved in the murder trial of Robert Harmony on June 24 and having two murder jury trials starting on back-to-back weeks will leave them without enough time to prepare for the second one properly. Gamble said he would prefer an earlier date, but Pike declined the request noting it is unfortunate how busy the schedule of the court will be in the upcoming months.

Harmony is accused in the stabbing death of 23-year-old Gerrod S. Lanzendorfer, working that night as a bouncer at the Side Door Tavern, and found dead in the street on South Broadway in Salem in the early morning hours of Nov. 13.