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Everett Glenn Miller showed no emotion as he walked into court Friday afternoon. His ankles were shackled and his wrists were handcuffed. Miller, 45, is accused of gunning down two Kissimmee police officers in August.
The judge noted, for the record, that he is extensively reviewed a psychiatrist's mental evaluation of Miller.
"Initially speaking, until proven otherwise, the defendant is presumed competent to proceed," said Judge Greg Tynan.
Records show Miller had been taken into custody for a mental health evaluation under Florida's Baker Act, just weeks before he is accused of shooting officers Matthew Baxter and Sam Howard.
Everett kept his eyes on the judge the entire time. He appeared to be listening carefully to every word the judge said. Judge Tynan told the court Miller entered a written plea of "not guilty."
Sitting in the front row, Officer Baxter's wife, Sadia, continuously wiped tears from her eyes as the judge talked about the state's decision to pursue a death sentence if a jury were to convict Miller on the two first-degree murder charges brought against him.
Baxter is now a special agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. One of her co-workers spoke on her behalf after the hearing.
"It was very emotional for Sadia Baxter and her family today. It was her first time seeing Mr. Miller, since the death of her husband. She said she wished she could say something to you all today, but she can't it's just too raw," said FDLE Spokesperson Angela Starke.
Miller's trial is set for January 8, 2018.More
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While Maria still has the potential to wander close to the United States, the core of the hurricane is most likely to remain offshore through next week.
Mold, especially toxic black mold, growth is a big concern after a flood.