Since testimony began Tuesday, the jury in the trial of LaVeta Miller has heard from several witnesses and Barton County Douglas Mathews has introduced more than 100 pieces of evidence. Defense attorney Robert Anderson has introduced more than 40 pieces of evidence, and cross-examined each witness.
On Thursday afternoon, Anderson told the jury, “It’s up to you to determine credibility and the evidence. You will hear the other side. ... For the first time today you will hear Miss Miller testify. On Oct. 25, 2012, my client was arrested on two counts of theft by deception. Since that date, there has been no effort by law enforcement to contact her or question her. She wanted to answer questions.”
“I didn’t do anything wrong,” Miller said. “I never got from anything that didn’t have an invoice for the board of directors.”
Anderson note some of the Central Prairie RC&D financial records were misplaced or lost after being moved to Kinsley, the day after Miller was arrested.
Stacy Neilson, the former Central Prairie Honor Flights treasurer, had been asked to bring records to court on Thursday. She testified that they were stored in the USDA building but no one was sure where they were since work was done on the building.
“You heard Miss Neilson testify that there are no records,” Anderson said.
LaVeta Miller testified that she has 48 years of membership in the American Legion auxiliary. She is a VFW member. She has served as a Scoutmaster in Larned and as a Girl Scout leader. She worked with a Boy Scout troop with handicap and lower-income youngsters.
Miller volunteered for Central Prairie RC&D from November 2008 to March 2009. She started as a paid office assistant in March 2009, and left as director in 2012. Her hours started at 24 hours weekly and progressed to 40 hours per week.
Central Prairie RC&D would work on as many as 25 to 35 projects at the same time. Some were minor like a Bike Rodeo and Hunters Donating Meat.
Honor Flights was a major time-consuming project conducted by Central Prairie RC&D. During her first flight, Miller testified that she paid either by cash or traveler’s checks. A 171 people at Country Buffet cost $6.65 per meal. She was reimbursed and filed an invoice with Central Prairie RC&D board. She said she also paid for some passes for Fort McHenry.