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Man pleads guilty to trying to lure teen into truck

POSTED: April 4, 2013 8:29 p.m.
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Laird Miller

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An Effingham County man accused of attempting to lure a teenage boy into his truck last May has pled guilty to a charge of criminal solicitation.


Laird Miller entered a guilty plea Tuesday and has been sentenced to five years in prison and five years of probation. Miller will be credited with time served.


Miller was arrested last May after a teenage boy, riding his bicycle near Ralph Rahn and McCall roads, said a man driving a white Toyota pickup approached him and asked if he would like to get in. The victim told Effingham County Sheriff’s deputies the man offered him money if he would go to his home and perform sexual acts.


When the victim said no, the man drove away.


Miller was arrested one day later and he was indicted in June 2012, charged with enticing a child for indecent purposes and criminal solicitation.


Another Effingham man entered a guilty plea Tuesday and will spend 10 years in prison and 10 years on probation for child molestation.


Harrison Brown pled guilty for a 2009 case that also went to the state Court of Appeals and the state Supreme Court.


A Superior Court granted Brown’s motion to have his confession suppressed, as Brown and his attorneys argued that he expected a “hope of benefit” for his confession. Brown, 19 at the time of the incident, was charged with molesting a 4-year-old boy who lived in his home.


Brown was questioned in the case by a female investigator, who did not threaten him with arrest. Two male investigators interviewed Brown for nearly two hours, recording the discussion, and told Brown he was not under arrest and he could leave at any time. The state agreed there was no evidence investigators suggested to Brown that an arrest was contingent upon what was said in the interview.


Brown contended, and the trial court concurred, that investigators gave him the impression at the interview’s beginning he would not face criminal charges when they told Brown he would go home at the end of the interview, regardless of what he told them. Brown claimed his statements, before and after he was read his rights, were involuntary and inadmissible.


The Court of Appeals, however, ruled that a “hope of benefit” was “clearly dispelled by the officers’ assertions they had no control over what would ultimately happen to Brown.” The Supreme Court upheld the appellate court’s decision.

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