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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

MS- Murder victim was convicted sex offender

UPDATED: 5-13-2011 Killer found and prosecuted!
6-2-2009 Mississippi:

The Sun Herald has confirmed that the murder victim from a weekend shooting in Moss Point was a convicted sex offender.

The state’s Sex Offender Registry shows that Silas Miller had been convicted of three sex crimes in California since 1974. The registry lists his age as 65 and his address as the 3600 block of Barnett Street, where he was shot Saturday night.

His prior convictions were rape, assault to commit rape and child molestation.

Miller and a neighbor were shot by an unidentifiable gunman who stood in the street as he fired first at Floyd Broadnax, then at Miller, who managed to make it just inside the front door of his home before he collapsed.

Broadnax, 40, was shot in an arm. He was treated and released to custody on a charge of failing to pay old fines. Detective Sgt. Joycelyn Craig said Broadnax’ arrest was unrelated to the shooting.

Miller had been shot before in an unsolved crime. Someone shot him twice in a leg as he rode his bicycle on Martin Luther King Boulevard in August.

Craig said police need to hear from anyone with information to help solve the weekend shooting. The shooter wore black clothes, a cap and a bandana over his face.

To give a tip, call police at 475-1711 or the Moss Point Tips Line, 474-TIPS (8477). ..Source.. by ROBIN FITZGERALD


M.P. slaying victim was California sex offender

6-2-2009 Mississippi:

A Moss Point murder victim was convicted of child molestation in 1989. In 1974, he was convicted of rape and assault to commit rape.

The state’s Sex Offender Registry shows that Silas Miller, 65, of Barnett Street in Moss Point, was convicted of the sex crimes in Los Angeles County, Calif.

Police said they know of no connection between Miller’s criminal background and the shooting that took his life and wounded a neighbor on Saturday night.

“I have no reason at this point to say that,” said Moss Point Police Sgt. Joycelyn Craig. “We are still asking the public to call in with any tips.”

An autopsy on Tuesday showed Miller died of a gunshot wound to the chest.

“He was shot only one time,” said Jackson County Coroner Vicki Broadus.

Investigators believe that Miller’s neighbor, 40-year-old Floyd Broadnax, was shot first just after he noticed Miller returning home on his bicycle. Broadnax received medical attention for an arm wound and was taken into custody on an old-fines charge.

The shooter remains unidentified. Witness accounts put the gunman in the street as he fired and walked away. Police said he wore dark clothes, a cap and a bandana that hid most of his face.

The Sex Offender Registry shows Miller has been registering in Mississippi since 2001.

He had last verified his address on April 7, less than two months before he was killed.

Miller had been shot twice in a leg while riding his bicycle in August. That crime is unsolved. ..Source.. by ROBIN FITZGERALD


6-14-2009 Mississippi:

MOSS POINT — A convicted felon was in jail Friday, accused in the May 30 shooting death of convicted sex offender Silas Miller, 65, outside his home on Barnett Street.

Moss Point Police Chief Sheila Smallman said Henry Lee Craig, 35, of Moss Point, was arrested late Thursday night through a joint effort between the Police Department and agents with the FBI Safe Streets Task Force. She said Craig was identified as a suspect after an extensive investigation that included the help of area residents.

According to witness accounts, Craig allegedly was in the street when he fired at Miller, killing him in a single shot. Miller was outside his home at the time. Shot and injured just prior to Miller was his neighbor, 40-year-old Floyd Broadnax, who was treated and later arrested for old fines.

Authorities said Craig had a history with Miller, allegedly having shot him in the past in the leg, though authorities said Miller did not sign charges against him at the time that could’ve resulted in his arrest. Craig later denied any involvement in the earlier shooting.

In addition, authorities said Craig had an extensive criminal record, having been arrested in the past on felony charges of aggravated assault, shooting into a dwelling, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and other offenses.

At the time of his arrest Thursday, Craig was out of jail on bond. On Friday, Craig’s bond was revoked, and he was being held in Jackson County’s maximum-security jail in Pascagoula.

“The more we work together, the more criminals we’re able to take off the streets and put behind bars where they belong,” Smallman said Friday. “My immediate concern has been and remains to be the safety of family, children and businesses of the city of Moss Point as well as meeting the needs of (the) …Department.

“The Moss Point Police Department has zero tolerance to the needless crimes and drug activity in our city. We will continue in our efforts to take back our streets and neighborhoods from the criminals, and regain the trust and support of our citizens.”

Authorities, including Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd, said there also was information to suggest that Craig disliked Miller for his past troubles involving sex crimes against minors.

The state’s sex offender registry showed that Miller was convicted of child molestation in 1989.

In 1974, he was convicted of rape and assault to commit rape.

Each of the sex crime convictions occurred in Los Angeles County, Calif. ..Source.. by MARGARET BAKER


Testimony begins in Jackson County in killing of sex offender

8-24-2010 Mississippi:

PASCAGOULA — Henry Lee Craig never liked Silas Miller, a convicted sex offender nicknamed the “Ice Cream Man,” long before Craig shot Miller to death as he was trying to get in the door of his Moss Point home, according to testimony Tuesday.

Craig is on trial for murder this week in Jackson County before Senior Circuit Judge Kathy King Jackson.

“There is no question that Henry Craig did not like Silas Miller,” Craig’s attorney Calvin Taylor said. “It all started because his (Craig’s) son was molested. He didn’t like that Silas Miller sold ice cream and lived near a school.”

Miller, 65, died of a gunshot wound to the chest May 30, 2009. Long before that — in 1974 and again in 1989 in Los Angeles County, Calif. — Miller was convicted in two separate sex-crime cases.

After serving his time for both offenses, Miller eventually returned to his family home on Barnett Street, his sister Ionia Miller said.

District Attorney Tony Lawrence put numerous witnesses on the stand Tuesday, including Floyd Broadnax, a twice-convicted felon who said Miller shot him in the arm minutes before Craig shot Miller.

Broadnax, a police officer said Tuesday, is the man Miller said had shot him before Miller was taken away in an ambulance. Broadnax has denied any involvement in the killing.

Broadnax, 42, said he first encountered Miller just before dusk while he was talking with his cousin and his cousin’s girlfriend outside his aunt’s Barnett Street home. Miller, he said, rode up on a bicycle and started making “vulgar” comments within earshot of several children.

Miller was told to leave, Broadnax said, but instead smarted off before telling him, “I’ll shoot you.’”

“Then he shoved me in the chest,” Broadnax said. “I stepped back and I gave him one (a punch),” which knocked Miller to the ground. Broadnax said he kicked Miller several times and was preparing to punch him again when Miller shot him.

Broadnax said he took off running until he realized he’d been shot and then walked back to his aunt’s house. About the same time, he said, Miller was down the street and appeared to be unlocking the front door of his home.

“That’s when I saw Mr. Craig come out of nowhere and commence to shoot,” Broadnax said.

Taylor asked Broadnax if he’d killed Miller, but Broadnax denied the allegation.

Several other witnesses said they saw a man dressed in dark pants, a light-colored shirt and a hat standing in front of Miller’s home. Then, they said, they saw the same man turn and start walking away. The witnesses said they believe Craig was that man. ..Source.. by MARGARET BAKER -


Jury convicts man in sex offender’s killing

5-11-2011 Mississippi:

PASCAGOULA -- A Jackson County jury deliberated for fewer than four hours Wednesday before finding Henry Lee Craig of Moss Point guilty of murder in the May 30, 2009, shooting death of sex offender Silas Miller.

Senior Circuit Judge Kathy King Jackson sentenced Craig to life in prison to run consecutively to the remainder of a 12-year sentence he’s serving for shooting into Miller’s home in 2007. No one was injured in that incident.

The Jackson County District Attorney’s Office said Craig told agents with the FBI Safe Streets Task Force after the killing he was glad Miller was dead because he didn’t consider him a human being.

“Mr. Craig decided to be the judge, jury and executioner in this case,” Assistant District Attorney Bobby Knochel said Wednesday. “No one is above the law and Henry Craig learned that today.”

Craig first went to trial on the murder charge in August 2010, but jurors could not reach a unanimous verdict, resulting in a mistrial.

Several witnesses identified Craig as the man they saw shoot Miller, 67, as he was attempting to go inside his house on Barnett Street in Moss Point.

When authorities arrived, Miller was still alive and told authorities another man, twice-convicted felon Floyd Broadnax, had shot him. Just prior to Miller being shot, he had gotten into an argument with Broadnax, and Miller had shot Broadnax in the arm.

Broadnax has testified he ran away once he was shot but later saw Miller attempting to go into his house. Broadnax fingered Craig as the man who shot Miller. Witnesses said Craig thought Miller was responsible for a recent rape of a then-7-year-old girl. Miller’s son, Maurice Miller, was convicted in that case.

Craig and Miller had several run-ins prior to the fatal shooting, including the 2007 shooting incident at Miller’s home. Craig has been serving his sentence for shooting into Miller’s home since his arrest in the murder.

District Attorney Tony Lawrence described Craig as a “dangerous individual,” with convictions for armed robbery, kidnapping and shooting into an occupied dwelling. ..Source.. by MARGARET BAKER

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