April 19, 2011 in City

Murder charges filed in man’s death

Police say four suspects followed victim from bar
By The Spokesman-Review
 

Miller
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

Four suspects in the slaying of a man in Plummer, Idaho, after a birthday party at a Spokane bar have waived extradition and are charged with first-degree murder.

Jody A. Miller was celebrating his 41st birthday with his wife, Kelly A. Miller, her son, Irael S. Kennedy, 21; and Stephen R. Milton, 22, when a dispute with Antowyn D. Swiney, 37, broke out at a downtown Spokane bar, police said.

Swiney fled to tribal housing in Plummer with two others, but the four suspects followed, and Swiney was stabbed to death early Sunday morning, said Benewah County Prosecutor Douglas Payne.

Payne said Monday that each suspect should arrive in Benewah County this week after waiving extradition from Spokane, where they’ve been held at the jail since their arrests Sunday night.

Each suspect is charged with murder because all are believed to have aided and abetted in the crime, Payne said.

“It’s not alleged that all four of them wielded the knife,” Payne said.

Bail for Miller and Kennedy is $1 million; Kelly Miller and Milton face $500,000 bonds, Payne said. The different amounts reflect the suspected level of involvement, Payne said.

The murder case is only the third in Benewah County in the 17 years Payne has been prosecutor.

“Cases like this strain resources in a rural county,” he said.

Payne said the suspects and victim were drinking at Chan’s Dragon Inn, 1406 W. Third Ave., prior to the fatal stabbing. They forced their way into the home in Plummer; Payne said he didn’t have the exact address.

Spokane County sheriff’s detectives tracked the suspects after the Idaho State Police said they likely were headed back to Spokane.

Jody Miller was arrested after a sheriff’s SWAT team raided a home at 2400 W. Dean Ave. about 7:20 p.m. Sunday, 12 hours after the search began. The other suspects were arrested during the day, including Kennedy after he went to a hospital to be treated for an undisclosed injury.

Jody Miller’s extensive criminal history includes convictions for second-degree robbery, first-degree assault, second-degree burglary, forgery, drugs, car theft, third-degree assault, harassment, theft and bail jumping.

Kelly Miller once told police that they are married “but are frequently separated due to Jody’s involvement with drugs,” including crack cocaine, according to court documents field in 2005.

Swiney has several felony drug convictions in Spokane and Pierce counties.

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