Lima man will stand trial for 2019 threats against school, priest

LIMA — Lima resident Robert Miller, who in 2019 was ruled incompetent to stand trial for allegedly threatening to blow Pandora-Gilboa Elementary School and a Catholic priest to “kingdom come” will stand trial early next year.

Miller has been a patient at the Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital in Toledo since August of 2019 after he was found by doctors at the Psychiatric Center of Northwest Ohio in Dayton to be not competent to stand trial. Mental health experts at the time expressed the belief that Miller’s competency could be restored over time.

Last month Miller was again examined by the doctors at the Dayton facility and a report to Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Reed stated that Miller’s competency and his ability to assist in his own defense have indeed been restored. The author of the report, Dr. Carla Dreyer, said Miller continues to exhibit some mental illness but currently meets the legal definition of competent, Reed said during a hearing Monday afternoon.

Reed said the three-year-old criminal case against Miller can now move forward but noted that Dreyer recommended the Lima man be returned to the Toledo hospital pending his trial for “continued maintenance and monitoring.”

A Jan. 9 pre-trial was scheduled after Miller — after a lengthy discussion with the judge and his attorney, Chima Ekeh, during which he often seemed confused — waived his constitutional right to a speedy trial during Monday’s hearing.

Miller, now 62, was taken into custody May 7, 2019, after allegedly writing a letter to his ex-wife which contained rambling threats against Pandora-Gilboa schools and an unnamed Catholic priest.

He was indicted on charges of inducing panic, causing the evacuation of a public place or otherwise causing serious public inconvenience or alarm where the public place is a school, a second-degree felony, and inducing panic by threatening to commit any offense of violence, a first-degree misdemeanor.

Miller had written a letter to his ex-wife in which he referenced an unnamed “God damn catholic priest” and stated of Pandora Gilboa Elementary School that “we all will blow that (expletive) elementary school and priest to Kingdom Come,” according to a sheriff’s office statement following Miller’s arrest.

Court documents show Miller did not explain why he was upset with the school or the priest other than to state that the priest scares his grandchildren.

Miller told investigators he did not have any means or real intention to attack the school or anyone else and he was just trying to scare his ex-wife for reasons still unknown.