Prosecution rests in trial for man accused of killing Kissimmee officers

Former inmate says Everett Miller hated Baxter, Howard

Closing arguments could be held Tuesday in the Everett Miller trial.

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – The prosecution rested Monday in the trial for a man accused of fatally shooting two Kissimmee officers.

Judge Greg Tynan told jurors he expects the defense will present its case on Tuesday and closing arguments will be finished by the end of the day.

If that occurs, Tynan said jury deliberations will begin Wednesday morning.

A former Osceola County Jail inmate who met Everett Miller in the jail's infirmary after Miller's arrest in 2017 told jurors Monday that Miller hated Officer Matthew Baxter and Sgt. Sam Howard of the Kissimmee Police Department.

Lewis Peterson testified Monday morning in Miller's double murder trial.

"He didn't like them," Peterson said. "Said they were always harassing people."

Peterson said Miller was next to him in the infirmary for a breathing issue. Peterson testified that when he began talking with Miller, he realized he knew Miller's family and had been raised around some of Miller's family members.

 "After he introduced him to me, I introduced myself to him, and we started talking about his family, and who his family was," Peterson said. 

Peterson testified that Miller said he believed the officers were harassing the three suspicious people the officers encountered the night of Aug. 18, 2017, in downtown Kissimmee.

"He (Miller) said, quote unquote, that if he was going to kill two people, it would be a lot different than that," Peterson testified. "With his training -- military -- he would not straight up come kill somebody. If he was going to do something like (that) he could have laid in the bushes or something and done it."

Prosecutors reminded Peterson that he'd given police a statement about Miller and his AR-15 assault-style rifle.

"He said if he had his AR-15 he would have laid out and picked off the officers one by one, isn't that what he told you?" the prosecutor asked Peterson.

"Yes," replied Peterson.

About the Author:

Erik von Ancken anchors and reports for WKMG-TV News 6 (CBS) in Orlando and is a two-time Emmy award-winning journalist in the prestigious and coveted "On-Camera Talent" categories for both anchoring and reporting. Erik joined the News 6 News Team in 2003 days after the tragic loss of space shuttle Columbia.