Crime

Ex-Cat Miller pleads not guilty; new charge added

WINCHESTER — Charges related to an alleged ticket scam keep piling up for former University of Kentucky basketball player Derrick Miller.

Just as Miller's attorney entered a not guilty plea Wednesday in Clark District Court on two counts of felony theft by deception, Judge Earl-Ray Neal said another felony count had been filed in Bell County.

In addition to the two Clark County charges, Miller, 42, of Lexington faces another charge of felony theft by deception in Fayette County.

In the Bell County criminal complaint, Mikel Byrne of Middlesboro said he paid Miller $1,295 on June 4, 2008, for UK basketball tickets. The complaint says Miller cashed the check but did not provide tickets or return the money.

Byrne had no comment when contacted Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Winchester police said two Winchester businessmen paid a total of $2,595 for lower-level basketball seats; Miller deposited the money into his private bank account. Neither men received tickets from Miller. One man paid $1,200 on April 2, 2009, and the other paid $1,395 on Sept. 5, 2008, Skinner said.

On Sept. 8, Lexington police charged Miller with one count of theft by deception, a felony. Lexington police said Miller accepted payment in advance for tickets when they weren't available to him to sell. That charge followed the Sept. 1 arrest of former UK star Ed Davender in a similar alleged scam.

The prosecuting attorney and Judge Neal agreed to increase Miller's bond from $3,000 to $5,000, so Miller can be released from the Clark County jail on $500. But Miller will still have to post bonds in Fayette and Bell counties, Neal said.

The judge ordered Miller to undergo random drug testing, and if he fails that, a warrant for his arrest will be issued.

A preliminary hearing was scheduled for 1:30 pm. Sept. 23 in Winchester. At that time, the judge will hear testimony to determine whether there is probable cause to send the case to a grand jury.

Wides said he is not aware of forthcoming charges in other counties, "but there may be."

Miller played at UK from 1986 to 1990.

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