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IN COURT: Church burglar sentenced to 10 years

September 24, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — A man who stole relics from a local church received a 10-year prison sentence in Whitley County Circuit Court Monday.

Cody Miller, 21, of Columbia City, broke in and stole several relics from St. Paul of the Cross Church last winter.

Monday, he was given a 10-year sentence to the Indiana Department of Corrections, with eight years to serve, for burglary, a Class B felony. He will serve that time consecutively with a probation violation case in Whitley County Superior Court, for which he had more than one year of suspended sentence revoked.

Judge James Heuer said he would check on Miller’s eligibility with Whitley County Work Release, and said his sentence could be modified to have him serve on work release.

Speaking for his client, Whitley County Public Defender Brad Voelz said Miller’s young age and history of mental health issues should be a factor in sentencing. Voelz also argued for a local sentence, to be served on work release.

Whitley County Prosecutor Matt Rentschler said this crime was not Miller’s first and it was unique in who it victimized.

“After all of this (criminal history), he commits a felony again,” Rentschler said. “This time against a church. He victimized an entire congregation of people, taking relics and money.”

Miller was seen by the prosecutor as a high-risk to re-offend as well.

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