FRANKLIN COUNTY, Pa. - Jeffrey Miles appeared in front of a judge Monday on the first day of his degree of guilt hearing, which will determine if he will be convicted of first, second or third-degree murder.
On October 29, Miles pleaded guilty to murder in the case of victim Kristy Dawn Hoke of
At the hearing, District Attorney Matt Fogal started things off by saying the case is a first degree murder case. He highlighted evidence showing that Hoke was stabbed more than 50 times by Miles.
Miles's defense attorney Eric Weisbrod, on the other hand, told the judge in his opening statement that Miles should be convicted of the lesser, third degree murder charge.
Fogal called several witnesses to the stand, including law enforcement officials and Miles's son, Dustin Lamier.
Lamier testified that he turned his father into police back in 2010 after Miles told him he killed somebody. He told the judge he agreed to testify against his father “despite the fact he’s my dad [because] he still committed murder.”
Fogal played several phone calls between Miles and Lamier that were recorded by investigators before Hoke’s body was discovered. Lamier said in court that Miles told him he killed Hoke because he thought she was a narcotics informant who had turned him into agents for crack cocaine possession.
Washington County Narcotics Task Force Agent Brian Burke testified that he was Hoke’s agent since March 2008 when she began working as a confidential informant. Burke stated that Miles had told him that he suspected Hoke was the informant who tipped investigators off about Miles’s involvement with crack cocaine in 2009.
Several witnesses also spoke about a notebook that belonged to Miles. Pennsylvania State Police Trooper David Rush read from passages of this notebook they discovered when they were led to Hoke's body by Miles in April 2010.
According to excerpts of the notebook presented by Rush, Miles makes several references to a murder in this book, including the statements: “This last killing was meant to be,” “Evil had lured her into the woods,” and “At that night her death was chosen.”
Pennsylvania Trooper Aaron Martin testified that Miles admitted to the murder of Hoke several times during the investigation
In the courtroom, Miles seemed to be calm and did not show much emotion throughout the hearing.
Hoke’s family was also in the courtroom. Her mother, Beverly Durboraw, told WHAG that she still feels the pain of missing her daughter every day.
“I have so much anger and hurt for what [Miles] has done to my family,” Durboraw said, adding that she is now taking care of Hoke’s three children age 17, 12, and six.
Miles was also charged with the homicide of Angie Lynn Daley 2010 after he led investigators to her body, but that trial has not been scheduled yet.
The hearing is expected to continue through the end of this week until the judge reaches a verdict.