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Morning Sun
  • 2 bound over for murder

  • Prosecutors have reached plea deals with five individuals in return for testimony against two men charged with the first degree murder of Rafael Antonio Baeza Hernandez in May.

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  • Prosecutors have reached plea deals with five individuals in return for testimony against two men charged with the first degree murder of Rafael Antonio Baeza Hernandez in May.
    Judge Donald Noland bound those two men, Robert E. Eastman, 26, Weir, and Scott Kelly Miller, 30, Pittsburg, over for trial after a preliminary hearing in the case on Wednesday. The two are charged with first degree felony murder, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery.
    The case stems from a robbery involving seven people that became a murder on May 21.
    Wednesday morning, two of the people involved pleaded guilty in plea deals in return for testimony against Eastman and Miller.
    Alexis Tillson, 20, Pittsburg, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to aggravated robbery, a level III felony with a potential sentence of between 55 and 247 months, depending on previous history.
    Melissa Miller, 28, Pittsburg, the wife of Scott Miller, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, a level V felony with a potential sentence of 31-136 months in prison.
    The state has also reached plea agreements with Crystal Sawyer, 22, Pittsburg, Becky Wingo, 26, Pittsburg, and Shamaya Mejia, Pittsburg. These three agreements will not be official until after the cases against Eastman and Miller are completed.
    However, court documents showed that Sawyer will plead to conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery and aggravated robbery, with the prosecution to recommend consecutive sentences for those charges, which could be a sentence of 86-383 months. Sawyer faced one charge of conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, and charges are expected to be dismissed against her in return for her testimony. Finally, Wingo’s plea deal is to be guilty of intentional second degree murder, aggravated robbery and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, with the prosecution recommending a concurrent sentence, meaning she will face 147-653 months in jail.
    At Wednesday’s hearing, Tillson and Sawyer each testified for the prosecution about what lead to the shooting of Hernandez, and a Pittsburg Lt. Det. Cris Hatcher also testified about the immediate investigation of the death.
    Further, the defense called Wingo to the stand as part of the preliminary hearing, and she testified that she was involved in the robbery. Wingo said that Eastman and Miller entered Hernandez’s home wearing masks and Eastman pointed a gun at Hernandez. Wingo said Eastman instructed Hernandez to empty his pockets, but Hernandez didn’t speak English well.
    “For what I felt was no reason whatsoever, he just shot him,” Wingo said. “I seen (sic) him shoot the gun.”
    Judge Noland determined there was probable cause for the cases against both Eastman and Miller to move forward, and set Eastman’s arraignment for Nov. 29 at 1 p.m. and Miller’s arraignment for Dec. 22 at 2 p.m.
    Andrew Nash can be reached at andrew.nash@morningsun.net or by calling 231-2600 ext. 132.
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