Jury convicts man, 76, of felony DUI

2014-07-22T14:50:00Z 2014-07-23T09:57:05Z Jury convicts man, 76, of felony DUIBy EDDIE GREGG egregg@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

In less than 30 minutes Tuesday morning, a jury reached a unanimous verdict and convicted a 76-year-old man of felony DUI for drunkenly causing a crash in January.

According to prosecutors, Ronald Henry Miller caused a crash when he turned in front of another driver at about 6:15 p.m. Jan. 23 in the area of First Avenue North and North 12th Street.

A state crime lab test of Miller’s blood showed he had a blood-alcohol concentration of .247 percent — more than three times the legal driving limit — around the time of his arrest, court records say.

The victim in the collision reported that the other driver involved, later identified as Miller, drove away from the crash in a pickup truck.

Police spotted a similar pickup outside a nearby bar and found Miller inside the establishment. Court records say he told police that he had been drinking at another bar and had picked up a female companion so that they could go to an adult store together.

In a video captured by a patrol car’s camera, Miller described the woman as a “hooker,” according to Deputy Yellowstone County Attorney Paul Chaon, who prosecuted the case.

Miller later told police that his companion was driving at the time of the crash, court records say.

At trial, Miller denied the woman was a prostitute, Chaon said.

Billings attorney Brad L. Arndorfer represented Miller at the trial, which started Monday and was presided over by District Judge Ingrid Gustafson.

The jury also found Miller guilty of a misdemeanor for failing to give immediate notice of accident, but acquitted him of a misdemeanor charge of failing to remain at an accident involving another person. Miller’s sentencing date is yet to be scheduled.

Miller has three prior convictions for driving under the influence, according to prosecutors.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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