AL MILLER MAKES LAST-MINUTE APPEAL
With the law dictating that appeals must be filed within 14 days of sentencing, Al Miller yesterday waited until the last day, ate his words, and sent a lawyer to the St Andrew Parish Court to take steps to quash his conviction.
The Reverend Miller, a two-time convict, said earlier this month that he would not be appealing his attempting to pervert the course of justice conviction.
But yesterday, attorney-at-law Hugh Wildman went to the court and did just that.
"He has a very strong appeal and we are expecting to quash the conviction. He should not have been convicted in the first instance, so what he is seeking to do is vindicate his rights,"Wildman said.
Earlier this month, Miller was fined $1 million, or 12 months in prison, when he appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court for his sentencing.
Miller was arrested in 2010 after then-wanted man Christopher 'Dudus' Coke was found in a car the pastor was driving.
Coke, at the time, was wanted on an extradition warrant in the United States. He had been on the run for a month after eluding a massive police-military operation in his Tivoli Gardens stronghold.
Following his sentencing, Miller said he would be accepting the decision of the court.
"Reverend Miller has reviewed his immediate and initial reaction not to appeal his conviction by the trial judge and has now given instructions for the filing of an appeal against his conviction. This is based on legal advice, the urgings of many, and his own prayerful reflections on all that transpired leading up to, at, and since his trial," the release said.
Wildman said that the process of seeking to clear Miller's name has already commenced.
"In the appeal, we have filed on one ground already, and we have many more to come. So none can come to me and say I'm defending Al Miller for anything personal because this is the first time I'm speaking to him. I have never met him before now and I have never gone to his church, but I feel so strongly about his case and I'm almost positive we'll win," Wildman said.
Garnett Roper, a fellow clergyman, said he is wishing Miller good luck with his appeal.
"I think the judge was very lenient and the judge gave him a lenient sentence," Roper said.
"I don't think he's following good advice and I don't think he has been doing that from the very beginning, but I wish him luck," he said.