Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul J. Gains opposes release of an 80-year-old inmate who fatally shot his ex-wife and her boyfriend and opened fire on a Youngs- town police officer in 1981.
On Tuesday, Gains sent a letter to the Ohio Parole Board, urging it to reconsider its decision to release Budd William Miller as early as Monday from the Pickaway Correctional Institution, where he is serving 20 years to life.
“This individual would indeed pose a danger or threat to anyone he comes in contact with. This is particularly true if he is not in a controlled environment, such as a penal institution,” Gains wrote. “He has demonstrated that he is a danger to those who disagree with him and to those that he cannot control,” Gains added.
After an Aug. 22 hearing, the parole board decided to release Miller, but it could change its decision as long as he remains incarcerated, said Mike Davis, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
Miller is to be paroled to Scioto County, and he will be under Adult Parole Authority supervision for five years.
Miller’s medical condition “makes any risk more manageable in the community. His condition can’t be surgically corrected due to other medical problems, which will limit his mobility, and he will be placed in a rehab-type facility,” the parole board said in its report of its decision this summer.
“His release, even into a ‘rehab-type facility,’ will diminish the seriousness of his offenses,” Gains replied in his letter to the parole board. Such a facility “will not have the same controls as prison,” Gains observed.
After killing his ex-wife, Linda, and her boyfriend, Lawrence Turley, on Easter, Miller suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chest during a gunbattle with Police Officer Tom Parry, who is now a detective sergeant.
When he committed the double murder, Miller was free on bond following a Christmas Eve 1980 incident in which he inflicted a serious head wound on his 17-year-old stepdaughter, Dixie Ray, while trying to shoot his ex-wife, ODRC said.
Gains told the parole board Parry expressed surprise that Miller would be released, and that Parry believes “Miller will pose a danger to nursing home personnel, or any others that he interacts with.”
Parry could not be reached to comment.