Jury hears testimony against Miller
Fisher said he and defendant regularly fired guns
HOLLIDAYSBURG — A man who temporarily lived at the residence of Martinsburg resident Harry Emerson Miller in 2016 testified Tuesday that he and Miller used to regularly fire guns together.
Martin Fisher Jr., 37, said he and Miller used to go to gun ranges, sportsmen’s clubs and into the woods for target shooting. And while living at Miller’s residence between January and March 2016, Fisher said he watched Miller assemble semi-automatic rifles that Miller sold for $1,000 to $1,500.
Those activities are part of the evidence prosecutors presented Tuesday to a Blair County jury in support of four counts of illegal firearm possession filed against Miller in March 2016 by Martinsburg Borough police after a background check revealed Miller’s 2004 felony conviction.
Miller, who may take the stand in his own defense today, became a convicted felon by entering a guilty plea to a charge of possession with intent to deliver in connection with 652 grams of marijuana. Earlier testimony indicated that when Miller was sentenced, the order contained no references about restrictions on gun rights.
Tuesday’s testimony also revealed that Miller had as many as 18 to 24 firearms in his house when Fisher, after a fight with his former fiancee, temporarily moved in with Miller and his wife, Angel, at their residence on East Allegheny Street.
Duncansville gun dealer Richard Schuh told the jury that he had known Miller and his wife, the former Angel Giffin, for about 15 years. He said he sold several firearms to Giffin and none to Miller, but Miller was usually with Giffin when the purchases were made in his shop.
Former gun dealer Ted Simpson of Alexandria, Huntingdon County, also said he never sold any guns to Miller but spoke with him many times about guns and gun parts.
Simpson also relied on his expertise to testify about the strength and procedure that would have been needed to fire a military-style rifle that police removed from Miller’s residence. At the time, Miller’s wife was in a wheelchair with a fractured leg.
Could someone in a wheelchair, someone with a fractured leg or someone needing to use crutches be able to fire this kind of weapon, Assistant District Attorney Bart Wischnowski asked. Simpson said no.
Miller’s identity as the founder of a social media webpage aimed at exposing local governmental corruption also surfaced during Tuesday’s testimony and in the display of Facebook conversations for the jury.
Fisher said that Miller, as founder of that webpage, boasted about his success in exposing improper actions involving local officials and police officers.
Simpson said he was aware of the webpage and in communication with Simpson, Miller admitted to being the webpage founder.
Fisher also referenced website conversations he had with Miller about guns and gun parts, including one in which Miller told Fisher: “I hit this at 870 yards,” which accompanied the photo of a pierced target.
Defense attorney Robert Donaldson asked Fisher about the disagreement that caused him to be evicted from Miller’s residence, prompting Fisher to say that he “left on his own accord” and that Miller “wouldn’t allow him to return” to get his belongings, his weapons and his dog.
Donaldson asked Fisher about his criminal history, and Fisher said he has prior misdemeanor and summary convictions but no felonies.
Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 946-7456.