COLUMBUS, Neb. – A man found guilty of endangering his step-daughter’s life will be spending the next few years in a Nebraska prison.
37-year-old James Miller of Columbus was sentenced to four to five years in prison by Judge Robert Steinke on Friday, after pleading guilty over the summer to intentionally committing child abuse.
Miller was originally charged with first degree sexual assault of his step-daughter, dating back from an incident in July of 2015. But, the prosecutor in the case Jose Rodriguez, who did not present a final argument to the judge due to terms of the plea deal, said they were forced to lessen the charge after the deposition.
“New information was discovered and the original charge was no longer appropriate,” says Rodriguez.
Matthew McDonald, who represented Miller, asked Judge Steinke for probation, citing Miller’s battle with alcohol addiction.
“He knows he has that demon and that is why we are here today, because he was too drunk to take care of his 11 year-old daughter, which is a crime of child abuse,” says McDonald.
Miller promised to get help.
“I have a plan on getting sober, staying sober, and getting a sponsor, going to my meetings,” says Miller.
But Judge Steinke cited all of Miller’s past crimes, including two child abuse convictions, as well as other alcohol and drug related incidents, as reasons for the prison term.
Miller will get credit for 179 days already served and with Nebraska Good Time Laws, Miller’s sentenced could be cut in half with good behavior.