Politics

Marine veteran sentenced to death for killing 2 Kissimmee cops – Orlando Sentinel

Sadia Baxter’s youngest daughter was once simply seven months previous when the woman’s father, Kissimmee police Officer Matthew Baxter, was once killed through Everett Glenn Miller in what prosecutors later described as a homicide motivated through hatred of police.

As Sadia Baxter stood out of doors the Osceola County Courthouse after a pass judgement on sentenced Miller to demise Friday, the couple’s two youngsters, 5-year-old Sofia and 6-year-old Zarah, have been sufficiently old to face and hang their mom’s arms.

“Five years and we finally have justice,” she mentioned via tears. “I am so grateful.”

Miller, a 50-year-old U.S. Marine Corps veteran, had no response as Circuit Judge Greg Tynan ordered capital punishment for the 2017 killings of Matthew Baxter and Sgt. Richard “Sam” Howard. The officials’ households and co-workers audibly gasped and cried after Tynan introduced his ruling.

As Miller was once escorted out through deputies, he waved at his circle of relatives and gave them a thumbs up.

A 12-member jury at trial in 2019 discovered Miller accountable on two counts of first-degree homicide for fatally taking pictures Howard, 36, and Baxter, 26. The identical jurors unanimously advisable that he be sentenced to demise.

Sadia Baxter, a reserve particular agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, mentioned she forgave her husband’s killer regardless of Miller by no means requesting forgiveness.

“Although what he did was not right, we forgive him, because these girls deserve to live a happy life with no hate,” she mentioned. “Hate is what got us here today — hate toward our law enforcement officers.”

Miller’s circle of relatives declined to remark. His lawyer Frank Bankowitz mentioned Miller’s sentence will probably be routinely appealed to the Florida Supreme Court.

Kissimmee police Chief Jeff O’Dell mentioned the dep. was once “extremely grateful that justice has been served.”

“This has been a very long and difficult process for everybody involved,” he mentioned. “[We] still have years of healing to go through, but we’re thankful for today.”

Prosecutors mentioned Miller killed the 2 police officers in a “cold, calculated and premeditated fashion due to anti-government beliefs.”

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But protection witnesses testified Miller was once the “epitome of a Marine” prior to a downward spiral related to post-traumatic tension dysfunction led him to be involuntarily dedicated a month prior to the killings.

Matthew Baxter was once accomplishing a regimen test on 3 other people the night time of Aug. 18, 2017, close to Cypress and Palmway streets when Miller all of sudden drove up and began arguing with him, accusing the officer of “messing with his people,” in step with a witness.

Baxter known as Howard, his awesome officer, to the scene. After a controversy, Miller ambushed the 2 police officers, taking pictures every of them within the head and face, prosecutors mentioned.

He was once later arrested at a bar on Orange Blossom Trail.

Sadia Baxter, who has sat via each listening to at the case all through the years, mentioned she received’t attend any hearings in Miller’s attraction procedure.

“I can finally say that I feel a burden lifted off of my shoulders,” she mentioned. “… I feel like I made my family proud. I think I made Matthew proud and I think I made all the law enforcement officers who cannot be here proud — and I am tired. That’s the truth.”

mcordeiro@orlandosentinel.com



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