A Plainville man facing sentencing for a fatality accident north of Hays in November wasn’t given any leniency Wednesday afternoon in Ellis County District Court.
Matthew Miller was sentenced to a total of 82 months in the Kansas Department of Corrections for his role in the death of his significant other, Kay Crumble, 36.
Miller had pleaded as charged to involuntary manslaughter/driving under the influence and another count of aggravated battery/driving under the influence. He was sentenced to 50 months on the manslaughter charge and 32 months on the battery charge.
Miller’s attorney, Olavee Raub, asked Chief District Judge Glenn Braun to run Miller’s sentences concurrently, meaning the 32 month sentence would have been served at the same time as the 50-month sentence.
But Braun was not swayed.
“The affidavit makes it appear it wasn’t an accident,” Braun said. “Whether it was a result of the mental illness or the drug condition, it appears it was intentional.”
The accident happened Nov. 20, 2016, along U.S. Highway 183 north of Hays.
Miller was driving a 1991 Buick LeSabre, in which Crumble was a passenger and owned, south on the highway when he crossed over the center line and collided head-on with a 2004 Dodge Stratus driven by Jon S. Olson.
Miller was reported as wearing a seatbelt in the affidavit, but Crumble was not. Both had to be extricated from the wreckage.
Crumble was life-watched to Wichita, but while in route, lost a pulse. The helicopter diverted to Hays Medical Center, where she died as a result of the injuries.
Olson suffered a broken arm and ankle from the impact.
Witnesses said the Buick did not appear to brake before impact, and that there was no animal to cause the vehicle to swerve.
Miller was transported to the hospital with multiple broken bones and had to eventually be intubated. He had numerous surgeries and spent nearly six months in the hospital before being released to the Ellis County Jail.
Stephanie Dick, Miller’s sister, told law enforcement she believed Miller caused the accident on purpose, according to the affidavit.
“I wanted to go see our mom, and I (expletive) up Kay in the process,” she told law enforcement Miller told her about what happened, according to the affidavit.
Their mother had died approximately five years earlier.
Kansas Bureau of Investigation officials determined the cause of the wreck wasn’t an accident after mapping it out.
Blood drawn from Miller three hours after his accident showed a BAC of 0.08. Miller said a doctor at HaysMed told him his blood alcohol level was 0.169, but he couldn’t remember anything about the accident.
Miller had admitted to a problem with methamphetamine while he was in a Wichita hospital, according to the affidavit.
Dick, who testified under oath at the sentencing Wednesday, said Miller suffered several injuries in the accident.
Raub asked her if her brother was seeking help prior to the accident.
“Yes, he was,” Dick said.
His sister said Miller would be handicapped by the traumatic brain injury he suffered in the accident, and that he had shown remorse “to the best of his ability.”
During Miller’s right to allocution, he said he was in the process of seeking professional help before the accident and that he was sorry the incident happened.
“I have very much remorse for what happened,” he said. “I was getting help for my mental health but it was not enough help at the time.”
Miller pleaded with the judge to run the sentences concurrently.
“Run them concurrent so I can get back out to my children and family,” he said.
Miller was on probation at the time of the accident for a felony conviction in Clay County, Missouri, for possession of a controlled substance. That probation began July 27, 2012.
“Those injuries were self-inflicted,” Braun told Miller. “You were impaired at the time … The court takes no sympathy on that.”
Braun also said he had no way to back up that Miller had shown remorse to Crumble’s family without one of them present to tell the court.
Olson was not able to attend on his part since he is currently housed in the Phillips County Jail on a separate matter.
Miller was credited with 128 days in the Ellis County Jail and remanded back there upon being transferred to the DOC.