Trial begins for dad accused of threatening school to test safety response

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by MARCUS MOORE

Bio | Email | Follow: @MarcusMoorewfaa

WFAA

Posted on April 14, 2014 at 1:09 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 14 at 1:37 PM

CELINA -- The jury trial of Ron Miller, the dad accused of making a terrorist threat at his child's elementary school, began Monday. Jury selection started early in the morning with testimony expected in the afternoon.

The alleged incident happened in January of 2013 at Celina Elementary School. Miller, who was unarmed, told school staffers that he had a gun to test the school's security response.

"Basically, he told one of the greeters, 'I am a gunman. My target is inside of the building. I'm going in the building. You stop me,'" said Celina Independent School District Superintendent Donny O'Dell. "They recognized, at that point, that he did not have a weapon and they were able to go ahead and tell him to leave."

The principal at the school called administrators, who then called police. O'Dell said they did not use 911, but called the department's non-emergency number. The superintendent said that was because Miller, 44, was "immediately" recognized as a parent and volunteer at the school.

"After he left, there was no imminent threat for a lockdown and for teachers and kiddos to be locked in the classrooms," O'Dell said. "We found some glitches … some things we need to work on. Of course, none of this ever takes place when you expect it to, so human response to certain situations is not always perfect because we're not perfect."

The school greeter who Miller approached was not equipped with a radio to report the incident to the office.  

Miller is a paramedic with Careflight.  He has been out of jail on $75,000 bond.

Originally, Miller faced a third degree felony charge, but a grand jury reduced it to a misdemeanor.

The trial is expected to last two days.

 

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