UPDATE: Teen charged with murdering, sexually abusing mother wants confession thrown out - WJHL.com

UPDATE: Teen charged with murdering, sexually abusing mother wants confession thrown out

By Nate Morabito


The teen accused of killing his mother and then raping her after her death will likely have to wait until next month to find out if jurors will eventually hear his confession.

Judge Robert Cupp heard more testimony today during a suppression hearing involving Codey Miller.

Miller is charged with first-degree murder, felony murder and abuse of a corpse.

The Johnson City Police Department says he killed his mother Sherry Cooper in May 2009.

Miller's attorneys are trying to get his taped confession thrown out before his upcoming trial.

They argue police coerced the teen into confessing and that Miller didn't understand his rights.

In the tape, taken in May 2009, Miller said he was innocent, then changed his story saying that he killed his mom and then changed his story again blaming it on someone else.

In the actual confession Miller detailed how he choked and killed his mom while she slept on the couch and then explained how he raped her.

Miller will be back in court on May 24 for more pre-trial motions. His co-defendant Christopher Johnson will also appear that day.


Codey  Miller may have spent the first hour of a May 2009 taped police interview arguing his innocence, but in hour number two, the then 17 year-old can clearly be heard confessing to his mother's murder and subsequent sexual abuse.

"I did it," Miller said in the tape. "I choked her."

It will soon be up to Judge Robert Cupp to decide whether or not a jury will eventually hear that confession. Miller's attorney, Public Defender Jeff Kelly, is asking the judge to throw out the taped statement.

"Codey did not voluntarily and knowingly waive his rights based on his special education level of learning," Kelly said. "The confession was also improperly taken since it was coerced and not voluntary."

Kelly is arguing Miller's second-grade reading level prevented him from fully understanding what he was doing the morning of his confession. In the tape, Miller can clearly be seen waiving his rights and then later acknowledging he was not pressured.

Even before Johnson City Police Department Investigator Joe Harrah began questioning the teen, he said something seemed odd about him.

"I was kind of struck for a moment there, because I didn't see any remorse or any sorrow or anything like that," Harrah said during the first day of the suppression hearing Wednesday. "The thing that I noticed that was really odd was Mr. Codey Miller had gotten out of the vehicle (at police headquarters), he was laughing."

Miller is charged with first-degree murder, felony murder, and abuse of a corpse for the 2009 murder of his mother, Sherry Cooper.

"I never thought I'd do this to my mom," Miller said during his interview with Harrah. “She kept asking me why am I doing this and I was like, 'Well, you pissed me off.' I don't know what made me do it. Like I said, she had made me mad to the point where I just couldn't take it no more. I deserve to go to jail."

Miller said he was mad at his mother because she wouldn't go to Wal-Mart with him. However, later in the taped interview Miller changed his story again. This time, he blamed Cooper's death on Christopher Johnson, who also faces the same charges in connection to Cooper’s death.

According to the public defender, it could be weeks before Judge Cupp makes a ruling about the confession.

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