I had forgotten Ken Miller’s appeal was in the works.
A Mennonite pastor from Virginia convicted of helping a woman flee the country rather than share custody of her daughter with her former lesbian partner says his federal conviction should be thrown out because no part of the crime occurred in Vermont, where he was arrested, prosecuted and found guilty.
Attorneys for Kenneth Miller argued in documents filed with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the effort to get Lisa Miller and her daughter Isabella out of the country began in Virginia and ended in New York state when the pair crossed the Rainbow Bridge to Canada in September 2009 before flying to Nicaragua.
The documents, filed Monday in New York, said Miller’s right to be tried before a jury near his home could be traced to England’s Magna Carta in 1215, the basis for much of the U.S. Constitution.
The criminal case stemmed from a custody battle decided by a Vermont family court. Miller turned himself in to federal authorities in Vermont in December 2011, and was sentenced in March to 27 months in prison. His sentencing has been delayed pending his appeals.
U.S. Attorney Tristram Coffin in Vermont said Wednesday he had not seen the appeal but would make the same argument as his office made to the trial court — that Miller’s criminal actions became complete once the mother and child left the U.S. and were therefore subject to prosecution where Miller was arrested.
“The crime was not completed until they entered Canada,” Coffin said.
Ken is called a Mennonite here. Close enough. I think he’s actually Beachy.