FREDERICK, OK (KSWO) – A Tillman County jury has found Gregory Miller, Junior not guilty of first-degree murder, but guilty of child abuse. Jurors recommended a sentence of 17 years in prison.
Miller was charged in the 2015 death of 19-month old Lane Fairchild. He's the son of his girlfriend, Kelly Fairchild.
Deliberations began around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday after four days of testimony.
Attorneys spent the entire afternoon delivering their closing arguments, which was the last time they were able to speak with the jury before a decision was reached.
The prosecutor talked in his first closing about the conditions Lane was staying in at Miller's house. He showed pictures of drugs and alcohol lying on the ground next to Lane's mattress, which he described as a dog bed. He argued anyone forcing Lane into those conditions couldn't possibly care about him.
The prosecution also walked jurors through the photos from Lane's autopsy. They said none of Miller's explanations matched the boy's injuries.
On the other side, in the defense's closing argument, Miller's attorney touched on the evidence the state did not produce. He talked about the state constantly mentioning that Miller is a heavy drinker and marijuana smoker, but he made it a point of saying being a drinker and smoker does not make you a murderer.
In his second closing statement to the jury, the prosecutor pointed out there were only two people with Lane when he died. He said they believed the evidence showed it was Miller who was the one responsible for the child's death.