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Lisa Miller is now officially a fugitive

Timothy Kincaid

February 23rd, 2010
Isabella Miller-Jenkins and Lisa Miller. Both are reported missing.

Isabella Miller-Jenkins and Lisa Miller. Both are reported missing.

On January 1, Miller was to meet Janet Jenkins, with whom her civil union has been terminated, to turn over custody of their daughter Isabella. A court in Vermont, where they were civilly united and where they resided together, had ordered visitation rights to Jenkins and, after years of refusal by Miller, determined that the only way to keep both mothers in Isabella’s life was to reassign primary custody to Jenkins. But Miller went into hiding and hasn’t been seen by her neighbors since September, and the last public communication from Miller was in December, when she passed a message to her supporters though ex-gay leader Debbie Thurman.

Last Tuesday, Judge Harrison of Bedford County Virginia’s Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court chose not to issue an arrest warrant for Lisa Miller. He determined that it could not be proven that Miller was aware of the court order to transfer custody, so he would reward her disrespect for the judicial system by refusing to press criminal charges against her. He scheduled another hearing for May 19.

It is clear that Miller is fully aware of her responsibility to turn over Isabella and to think otherwise requires an amazing suspension of disbelief. The story been covered by newspapers nationwide, and Miller was still in communication with her supporters after the November 20 order was announced. But Miller’s friends swore that they don’t know where she is and the judge chose to give credence to their testimony (I’ll let you decide for yourself whether the reputation of conservative Christians encourages you to trust them or to immediately assume that they are lying through their teeth).

In January, Judge Cohen, the Vermont judge who has been involved with the custody since the breakup, gave Miller’s supporters an additional 30 days to convince her to follow the law. Miller did not show up, so Judge Cohen has now found her in contempt. (WaPo)

Family Court Judge William Cohen found Lisa Miller of Forest, Va., in contempt of court during a hearing Tuesday and issued the arrest warrant.

Considering the entrenched homophobia in Virginia and the political power of Thomas Road Baptist Church, I am not hopeful that the Bedford County Sheriff’s Department will do much to recover Isabella. However, unless I am mistaken, this arrest warrant would allow bounty hunters and private investigators to initiate steps to rescue Isabella from a life on the run with the fugitive Lisa Miller.

Comments

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Stefano A
February 23rd, 2010 | LINK

Something I’m confused about . . .

In other custody cases, for example when a husband and wife split, and one is awarded sole custody, then the other makes off with the child, that’s considered kidnapping, which makes it a federal offense, doubly compounded if the kidnapper crosses state lines.

So what’s the deal here, that this isn’t considered kidnapping across state lines and also prosecutable as a federal offense?

I don’t get it.

Lindoro Almaviva
February 23rd, 2010 | LINK

Said it a million times, Debbie Thurman knows more than what she is saying, why hasn’t her office and residence not been searched yet?

Rob
February 23rd, 2010 | LINK

Aren’t bounty hunters restricted to capturing fugitives that are out on bail? Anyway I hope they get her. A bounty on her head would help.

Frijondi
February 23rd, 2010 | LINK

@Timothy. Have you seen this story yet?

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/02/23/BA0N1C611Q.DTL&tsp=1

Good news, and it may light a little fire under the law enforcement folks in Virginia.

Richard W. Fitch
February 23rd, 2010 | LINK

It appears a national arrest warrant my be pending with the action of Rutland County state’s attorney, Marc Brierre.
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/nation/6881724.html

Jenkins’ attorney said it would be up to the Rutland County state’s attorney, Marc Brierre, to seek a national arrest warrant on felony charges of custodial interference. Brierre was out of his office Tuesday (2/23)and unavailable for comment.

cd
February 24th, 2010 | LINK

There’s a time and a place for private investigators. This would be appear to be one.

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