Clifford D. Miller admitted he murdered Edgerton sisters while high on meth
On Tuesday morning, in front of a packed Platte County courtroom and Judge Lee Hull, Clifford D. Miller admitted that he beat and suffocated Edgerton sisters Britny Haarup, 19, and Ashley Key, 22, to death while he was high on methamphetamine.
In return, Hull sentenced Miller, 32, of Trimble, to two life terms in prison without the possibility of probation or parole. He ordered the sentences to be served consecutively. The 75-minute hearing brought to end a horrific case that began near daybreak July 13, 2012 when the sisters were murdered in their Edgerton home.
Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd said there were only two possible penalties for the two counts of first-degree murder levied against Miller — life in prison without possibility of probation or parole and the death penalty. Zahnd said his office chose not to pursue the latter.
“This defendant committed two evil, unspeakable crimes,” he said. “Certainly this case was eligible for death penalty consideration and I would have had no hesitation to pursue it. However, in cases like this, victims’ families bear the brunt of that decision. I met with members of the victims’ family on numerous occasions and it seemed wrong to compound the pain these murders have already caused by forcing the family members to endure a death penalty trial they would prefer to avoid.
“The fact that Clifford Miller will breathe his last breath in prison is just and appropriate.”
Paul Haarup, the father of the two slain sisters, spoke briefly at the hearing.
“Britny and Ashley were two beautiful young ladies with plans for the future and so many hopes and dreams,” he said. “Nine months have passed and still it is a daily fight to hold back the tears. We force ourselves out of bed every morning and go through the motions required to survive.
“We hold on to the memories of their laughter that will never be heard of again and the love and warmth of their hugs that will never be felt again. All we have now are those memories. We will not let thoughts of the evil person who brutally murdered them darken our memories.”
Miller, dressed in dark slacks and jacket, with a light colored shirt and tie, did not speak other than to answer Hull directly, mostly with responses of “yes, sir.”
But Miller’s attorney, public defender Thomas Jacquinot, told the court that he thought there were “two Clifford Millers.”
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