A witness to an Alexander Valley slaying testified Thursday that the suspect drew a gun in the victim's living room and shot at him twice before stepping closer and firing a third bullet into his head.
John Ross Parent testified in a preliminary hearing for Jarrod Miller, 29, who is accused of killing his sister's boyfriend, Tim Neuer, also 29.
Parent said he was giving Neuer a haircut around 8 p.m. on March 8 when Miller pulled up to the house in an SUV. Miller came inside and asked to speak to Neuer in the living room, Parent testified.
Neuer, who was in a bathroom, stomped out and told Miller to leave his house, Parent said. He was upset at being interrupted but the source of any more serious tension between the two men was unclear.
That's when Miller pulled a small pistol and fired, hitting Neuer in the torso, Parent said.
Miller's sister, Mandy Miller, sprang from a couch and tried to stop her brother as he fired again, Parent said.
But Miller pushed her away, stepped to within six feet of Neuer and fired another shot at his head, Parent said.
"I saw him step forward and pull the trigger," Parent said.
Parent said he fled into a hallway, Mandy Miller began crying hysterically and Neuer lay motionless on the floor. A paramedic declared him dead at the scene.
Miller was arrested later than night. An empty box for a .380 automatic handgun was found in Miller's white Suburban along with a receipt showing it was purchased at a Cabela's store near Reno on March 5.
Parent was the first of three prosecution witnesses in the hearing before Judge Arthur Wick, who ruled there was sufficient evidence for a single charge of murder. In his ruling, he called the killing "execution-style."
"That's of grave concern to this court," Wick said at the end of the day-long hearing.
Two investigators also testified but Miller's sister did not.
Parent testified under a grant of immunity for his role in a Lake County marijuana growing operation. Details about how that was connected to the slaying were not disclosed.
Prosecutor Scott Jamar so far has not revealed a potential motive for the slaying. He has not said if the killing is connected to hundreds of marijuana plants found at Neuer's home.
District Attorney Jill Ravitch, who is co-counsel, was seated in the courtroom during the testimony. She did not question witnesses or present evidence.
Jarrod Miller's attorney, Joe Bisbiglia, argued that Miller didn't intend to kill Neuer. He said the lethal head shot came during a struggle with Mandy Miller, who he said grabbed Jarrod Miller's arm and neck.
But Jamar argued the killing was deliberate.
He said Miller approached an unarmed man and fired not once but three times. Although the head wound alone would have been fatal, the others, including a shot to the thigh, also could have killed Neuer, an autopsy showed.
Sonoma County Women’s March events
“Fueling the Resistance” cocktail party at the Arlene Francis Center in Santa Rosa, 6-9 p.m.
Santa Rosa’s Old Courthouse Square, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Sebastopol town square at noon
Sonoma Plaza at noon