Casper-Area Man Pleads Guilty in Beating Case
A Natrona County man has entered a guilty plea following his November arrest for allegedly breaking into a neighbor's home and assaulting him.
Wade Curtis Miller, 45, pleaded guilty Thursday before District Judge Catherine Wilking to one count of unlawful entry. The charge, a felony, carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Under an agreement with prosecutors, Miller will likely be sentenced to three years of probation with an underlying, suspended prison sentence of three to five years. Assistant District Attorney Dan Itzen said restitution may be an issue in the case, but his office has been unsuccessful in contacting the victim and working out a figure.
Three other counts filed against Miller were dismissed Thursday, per the plea deal.
Prosecutors say Miller, who lived in the 5000 block of Okeepa at the time of the crime, was president of the homeowner's association and had an "ongoing battle" with the victim regarding the condition of the victim's rented property.
On Nov. 26, Miller allegedly went over to the victim's house and urinated in the victim's generator. An argument ensued, and the victim then went back inside his house.
Miller reportedly picked up a wooden post and used it to break the victim's sliding glass door. He then entered the victim's home and hit the victim with the post.
Itzen provided the required factual basis for Miller's guilty plea during Thursday's hearing, something which is usually done by the defendant. Itzen told Wilking he was doing so because Miller was heavily intoxicated at the time the crime was committed -- an approach which is not uncommon in cases where the defendant was too intoxicated to remember the event.
Miller shook his head as Itzen explained the situation to Wilking. "I wasn't intoxicated, though," Miller told Wilking, after she asked if he understood the terms of the plea bargain.
Miller's attorney explained that he had no issue with Itzen providing the factual basis, although Miller may not entirely agree with the prosecution's version of events.
Miller remains free on bond pending sentencing.