The jury trial for the Great Bend woman accused of stealing more than $100,000 in money earmarked to honor World War II veterans was scheduled to start this week, but is on hold, with no date scheduled as of Tuesday. LaVeta D. Miller’s court-appointed attorney has requested the trial be rescheduled to November or December if possible.
Miller is charged with stealing more than $100,000 that was intended to provide World War II veterans with free trips to Washington, D.C. She is the former director of Central Prairie RC&D, once based in Great Bend. She was in charge of Central Prairie Honor Flights, which raised nearly $1.2 million for veterans’ trips between 2008 and 2012.
Her attorney, Robert Anderson Sr. of Ellinwood, notes that Miller is free on bond, and that the request to reschedule was not made for the purpose of unnecessary delay or harassment.
Anderson said he has other pending legal obligations which require his immediate attention. The most pressing item on his calendar is multiple meetings with an inmate at Ellsworth Correctional Facility who is appealing a 2010 murder-kidnapping conviction, and preparing an appellate brief in the Kansas Supreme Court on this off-grid case by the end of the month. Anderson notes in his motion to continue Miller’s trial that he is the fifth appellate counsel assigned by the Sherman County District Court to represent that defendant as he appeals his conviction and sentence. Anderson said he won’t be granted another extension on the Sept. 29 deadline in that case.
Barton County Attorney Douglas Matthews was consulted, according to Anderson’s motion, “and while he does object to a continuance of (Miller’s) jury trial, he acknowledges that the jury trial on this case has been rescheduled in the past by the state, the defense and the court.”